Book of the Day
By Jonathan Kellerman
Publication Date: February 13, 2018
Review by Danny Lindsey
Jonathan Kellerman has written more than 30 Alex Delaware thrillers. Night Moves, the latest in the series, (Random House, 2018) is vintage Delaware. With characters so familiar to readers that each has his own biography and fan base, Alex and Lieutenant Milo Sturgis are once again on the trail of an ephemeral murderer, one whose MO is shotgun and band saw. Identification is not easy, nor is the actual crime scene obvious. Add a completely dysfunctional family and no apparent motive, and Alex and Milo are left to concoct a series of scenarios, ranging from the ridiculous to the sublime, none of which appear to bring the perpetrator closer to justice.
A second murder does little to clarify matters. In fact, the waters are if anything, murkier than ever. Who is the target? What do the victims have in common besides the obvious? Serious detective work is called for, but never to the extent that they interfere with Milo’s gustatory habits.
Solid police work, nosy, reclusive and sometimes helpful neighbors finally develop enough information for Alex to begin to see a more clear picture and to develop a profile of the killer that he and Milo can pursue. Kellerman’s skill is such that no reader will solve the mystery before it’s time to reveal the killer and the motive. Like the real-life psychologist that he is, he brings the reader toward a conclusion slowly, bit by bit, emulating his fictional alter-ego.
Night Moves is an altogether enjoyable read, another in a long string of sure hits for Kellerman. Any review would be incomplete, however, without quoting a few of the more poetic lines he has penned into this one:
“A starless sky sagged like a rain-soaked tarp, a malnourished moon cast anemic light.”
“The flame turned into sprinkles of earthbound stars plummeting to the ground.” (tossing a lit match away)
“Tattoos ran up his neck, flirting with his carotid.”
Kellerman devotees may not be surprised with his use of imagery, but occasional readers will undoubtedly be.
Many thanks to Sharon Propson and Random House for providing Killer Nashville with the advance review copy.
Danny Lindsey keeps trying to retire. After a 20-year Army career and a 25-year second one in the private sector, he’s finally settled down. His current gig is as the Veteran Employment Services Manager for a Huntsville, A.L. based non-profit, Still Serving Veterans. Both full careers were characterized by numerous writing assignments, from war plans to operating policies and procedures, then on to white papers, analyses of alternatives and competitive contract and grant proposals. Now his writing consists of blogs for the website www.ssv.org, podcasts for the local NPR affiliate, and a half dozen Pulitzer-worthy, albeit unpublished novels.
Update: Danny won the 2017 Killer Nashville Claymore Award with his manuscript Serial Justice – so he will not be unpublished for long!