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Obsession ? An Alex Delaware Mystery (sort of)
Jonathan Kellerman
Ballantine Books 2008
458 pages paperback

Jonathan Kellerman ‘s 2008 paperback mystery Obsession is far from being one for the reader. As Maxwell Smart would say this is the old former patient comes out of the blue to ask Alex Delaware for help and Delaware asks Detective Milo Sturgis for help trick.

To best enjoy Obsession the reader should read chapters 3 and 4 where former patient Tanya Bigelow asks Alex Delaware to look into her mother's dying confession of being responsible for a murder and then skip to chapters 23 and 24 where Detectives Sturgis and Petra Connor meet at the psychiatrist's house to go over what they and the reader have learned so far. Chapter 33 features more perhaps helpful speculation.

Anything in between is just filler.

Kellerman doesn't manage to engage the reader's interest in Obsession. Novels in a mystery series are by nature fairly formulaic but here you can see the recipe card peeking out as plot mark time and again.

The fact some of the clues are clumsy, as in translate one suspect's name to get his real identity, certainly does not help. Even clumsier is when Sturgis declares an otherwise innocuous character suspicious two or three times just so you will pay attention when that character shows up.

Most Kellerman whodunits are pretty good aside from the dreadful The Web, the tale of a mad scientist on an island. Obsession is not that godawful but here turning the pages becomes a chore in a very short time.

I wish I could help you past chapter 33 but I pretty much gave up, skimmed the rest, and found the reveal pretty lame.