cover image Guilt: An Alex Delaware Novel

Guilt: An Alex Delaware Novel

Jonathan Kellerman. Ballantine, $28 (336p) ISBN 978-0-345-50573-6

Three decades after the debut of Kellerman's psychologist detective, the 28th entry (after 2012's Victims) is a lackluster one and shows the series' age. Newcomers are unlikely to be impressed either by Delaware's psychological or deductive insights. He tells a celebrity patient at her first session that "happiness comes from taking all the credit and none of the blame." A witness's failure to know her sister Adriana Betts' number by heart, relying instead on pressing a button on her cell to automatically place the call, is %E2%80%98evidence' that she hadn't been in close contact with her. Betts has turned up dead of a gunshot wound in the same L.A. park as a defleshed baby's corpse. The infant's remains turned up during excavation of a drainage ditch%E2%80%94and that grim discovery followed the unearthing of an older baby's skeleton in a backyard. The investigations Delaware and his longtime LAPD ally Milo Sturgis conduct are strictly by the numbers, and their solutions are unremarkable. Whatever was innovative in this series is long gone. (Feb)