Ballantine, Oct 2002, 26.95
Los Angeles psychologist Dr. Alex Delaware is stunned to receive the binder containing grisly police photographs of crime scenes with an outside logo, "THE MURDER BOOK". He shows his “gift” to his friend, long term police veteran Detective Milo Sturgis, who is equally shocked by the book, but one particular picture haunts him. The book includes the picture of one of his first cases, the mutilated body of Hollywood High student Janie Ingalls, killed two decades ago.
Milo remembers that as a rookie he was teamed with veteran Pierce Schwinn, but as they began to put the case together, they were removed. Milo believs his first detective partner sent the book in order to tease the duo into investigating the cold case. Milo and Alex follow a trail that takes back to high society, a place where Schwinn reached twenty years ago before they were yanked off the investigation, but the trail remains frozen though the duo methodically progress one slow clue at a time.
THE MURDER BOOK is a powerful police procedural that is the best Delaware tale in several years. The story line absorbs the audience with the systematic scrutiny of the evidence one ugly step at a time. The support cast is abundant and overwhelming at times, but the lead sleuthing couple keeps things in perspective and provides the bonus of seeing Milo as a tyro. Jonathan Kellerman, who has a mantelpiece filled with deserving awards, may have his SHAMUS this time.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner