cover image Silent Partner

Silent Partner

Jonathan Kellerman. Bantam, $18.95 (0pp) ISBN 978-0-553-05370-8

Kellerman bares a dark, brooding side of his appealing series' detective, child psychologist Alex Delaware ( Over the Edge ), in this complex tale of guilt, greed and expiation. Although his beloved girlfriend Robin has left him, to find herself, Delaware decides against seeing former lover Sharon Ransom, when she asks to meet. Stricken with guilt when he reads of her suicide the next day, he is driven to understand the circumstances that led to her death. Delaware traces Sharon's life back through their relationship and into the many versions of her childhood he discovers. As grisly murders accrue, he gradually unknots a tangled skein of pornography, blackmail, corporate megalomania, academic pretension, mistaken identity, multiple births and borderline personalities. Aided by his friend, gay LAPD detective Milo Sturgis, he travels from L.A.'s mansion-strewn hills to its seamy underside, from the countryside west of Claremont to the hi-tech desert abode of a Howard Hughes-like recluse, uncovering a generation-spanning web of deception that leaves Delaware as uncertain of his own worth as he is of others.' Kellerman keeps his labyrinthine plot in hand, peopling it with eccentric, memorable characters. 100,000 first printing; $100,000 ad/promo. (Oct.)