Jonathan Kellerman, Alex Delaware, and Milo Sturgis are in fine form in the new Kellerman mystery novel Rage.  The last few whodunits by this usually dependable mystery writer were below par. In Twisted, Jonathan Kellerman tried to juggle too many balls and this made for a far too convoluted novel, while Therapy was okay but not up to the standards Kellerman had set.  In Rage, aside from a rather formulaic beginning and an ending that will leave readers puzzled, the author has managed to find most of his old form.

Rage begins when one of Alex Delaware’s former consults calls him out of the blue, sets up a meet, and then dies under mysterious circumstances. This is the rather formulaic beginning for many a mystery by Jonathan Kellerman although this time it is a kid he evaluated for a court case eight years ago and not quite the usual former patient. The kid and a buddy of his were sent to juvy after killing a two year old girl.

Milo Sturgis and Delaware soon find a strange series of coincidences tying the murder of Rand Duchay (the kid Delaware did a psych evaluation for) and the violent deaths of many other people associated with the case. It is these coincidences they look into in Rage.

Rage is no doubt a page turner and this is what most people look for in a mystery. Fans of Jonathan Kellerman will enjoy this latest installment in the series. They will, however, probably be disappointed by the ending to this whodunit. It seems Kellerman has once again bitten off a bit more than he can chew in terms of plot and this one does not really wrap up.

This disappointing ending is not only in terms of plot but also because it seems Delaware’s old flame Robin is sneaking back into the picture.

Jonathan Kellerman
An Alex Delaware mystery
Ballantine Books 2006
391 pages paperback

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