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Survival of the Fittest (Alex Delaware) (original 1997; edition 2002)

by Jonathan Kellerman

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1,24186,397 (3.51)15
Member:littleturtle82
Title:Survival of the Fittest (Alex Delaware)
Authors:Jonathan Kellerman
Info:Ballantine Books (2002), Edition: later printing, Mass Market Paperback, 544 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:***1/2
Tags:fiction, mystery, novel, adult, series, crime, psychology, thriller, American

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Survival of the Fittest by Jonathan Kellerman (1997)

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The slightly retarded fifteen-year-old daughter of a diplomat dies on a school field trip forced or lured into a deserted corner of the Santa Monica mountains and killed in cold blood. Her father adamantly denies the possibility of a political motive, which leaves LAPD detective Milo Sturgis and his longtime friend Alex Delaware to pose the question: why? The victim's father is so intent on controlling the investigation that Alex and Milo start to wonder if he wants to bring out the truth – or make sure it stays buried. Then there is another killing, and within days Alex finds himself ensnared in one of the darkest, most menacing cases of his career. Driven to find answers, he and Milo will work closely with Inspector Daniel Sharavi, the brilliant Israeli police detective introduced in Jonathan Kellerman's The Butcher's Theatre, but it is Alex who goes undercover, alone, to expose the smug brutality of a murderous conspiracy and a terrifying contempt for human life. Weaving together the threads of a mystery that lead from a child's murder to a young scientist's suicide, Jonathan Kellerman draws one of the most chilling, frighteningly realistic portraits of evil you will ever experience.
  Hans.Michel | Sep 13, 2013 |
Got really preachy. I agree with Kellerman's outlook, but I was looking for entertainment, not a heavy-handed lecture. ( )
  dianaleez | Feb 16, 2013 |
Jonathan Kellerman
  jsharvison | Sep 23, 2011 |
Jonathan Kellerman
  jsharvison | Sep 23, 2011 |
Good read alright. But 1) Too much unlikely intrigue. 2) Ending very unsatisfactory. Too one sided about the historical motivations surrounding eugenics. And in the end the killings were not about that anyway. Too one sided period. Interesting vignettes--Delaware about to be seduced by a supposed perp (that in turn becomes a victim). Almost too many themes--intelligence, Jewish themes, cop suicide, killing for fun. This installment again strays from the strength of this series: clear psychological themes coupled with LA noir. ( )
1 vote Darrol | Jun 3, 2010 |
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To my parents, David and Sylvia Kellerman
Special thanks to Detectives Paul Bishop and Vic Pietrantoni, and to Dr. David J. Smith
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Hooray for Hollywood.
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0345458842, Mass Market Paperback)

Legendary L.A. psychologist-turned-novelist Kellerman raids real life when inventing the adventures of his psychologist sleuth, Dr. Alex Delaware, and some of the scariest parts of Survival of the Fittest are historical. Eugenicists lurk behind a murder spree Alex must solve, and he notes that the eugenics movement involved one elite U.S. college professor who advocated castration of ethnically lesser men, a forced sterilization ordered by Supreme Court Justice Holmes that Hitler used as a precedent to sterilize millions, and the pre-Holocaust coinage of the phrase "final solution."

Besides a truly horrifying theme, Survival of the Fittest boasts sharp but not arch dialogue; savvy psychological insights into stressed-out cops, suicides' loved ones, and malevolent therapists; and a sense of place so vivid that the Los Angeles Times has rated Kellerman the most evocative L.A. author since Raymond Chandler.

The plot's as twisty as a canyon road, and it's great fun to ride along with Dr. Alex and his sidekick, the burly, gay LAPD detective Milo Sturgis, as they dodge large red herrings and strive to find out why mildly handicapped kids are suffering "gentle strangulation" by killers who sign their handiwork with the mysterious letters DVLL, and what the devil this has to do with the high-IQ group Meta. Bonus for Kellerman fans: his Israeli serial killer catcher, Daniel Sharavi, star of his 1988 bestseller The Butcher's Theater, joins the sleuth team. But in the gory finale, Dr. Alex faces absolute evil all alone. --Tim Appelo

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:32:45 -0400)

(see all 7 descriptions)

An Israeli girl is one of several young people murdered in Los Angeles and the killings have one common trait: each victim had a mental or physical disability. As he investigates, psychologist Alex Delaware discovers a neo-Nazi organization devoted to racial purity.… (more)

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