Self-Defense (Alex Delaware, #9)
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Self-Defense (Alex Delaware #9)

3.8 of 5 stars 3.80  ·  rating details  ·  4,415 ratings  ·  85 reviews
Dr. Alex Delaware doesn't see many private patients anymore, but the young woman called Lucy is an exception. So is her dream. Lucy Lowell is referred to Alex by Los Angeles police detective Milo Sturgis. A juror at the agonizing trial of a serial killer, Lucy survived the trauma only to be tormented by a recurring nightmare: a young child in the forest at night, watching...more
Paperback, 528 pages
Published October 1st 2002 by Ballantine Books (first published January 1st 1994)
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The Manufactured Identity by Heath SommerThe Human Obsession by Heath SommerThe Grand Delusion by Heath SommerDeception by Jonathan KellermanEvidence by Jonathan Kellerman
Best Psychologist Novelists
26th out of 26 books — 25 voters
The Golden Compass by Philip PullmanWicked by Gregory MaguireThe Reader by Bernhard SchlinkHigh Fidelity by Nick HornbyBlindness by José Saramago
Best Books of 1995
188th out of 190 books — 79 voters

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Community Reviews

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Marc Wambolt
I liked the beginning of this book. I was intrigued by the idea that the main character, Alex Delaware, was a clinical psychologist and a patient of his had just been on a jury that convicted a serial killer. Now she was having recurring dreams of seeing two men carrying a young woman into the forest. It had potential, but bogged down at one point and I think it would have been a better book if he had taken out about 100 pages. I did like it, but I only give it 3 stars.
Alex Delaware takes on an adult woman as a patient, a rarity. She appears to be self-destructive, yet denies it. He begins to investigate her childhood based on information she reveals while hypnotized. This leads to a cast of characters that becomes a consuming interest for the reader. There are novelists, ex-convicts, Hollywood types and most of all, the siblings and family of the woman. The plot is intricate and absorbing. The writing, once again, excellent.
Tk Good
I love Kellerman but this wasn't one of my favorites. The plot was weak and predictable and the story too long, I skipped most of the end when they're interviewing the bad guys, just didn't seem relevant. What I loved was the dialogue of old man Lowell - I don't think I've ever read anything so creatively cruel come out of a character's mouth. Ever. You have to admire someone who can come up with it! Really genius stuff.
I picked this up thinking it was new and then couldn't get over the fact that it seemed so familiar. Turns out, it's an oldy! I had read it before and that's why it seemed so much like "some other book I had read".

As always, I do like Jonathan Kellerman's writing style, his characters, and his mix of Alex's detective work vs. therapy work.

Slighltly dissapointed. Jonathon Kellerman is usualy one of my faves but I had a hard time with this one at about page 450 or so. The book started off well but seemed to lose steam as Dr Delaware started his questioning of one of the female characters....I won't say who because I hate spoilers!!

I hope the other books I have by this author are better!!
Feb 11, 2010 mark rated it 3 of 5 stars
Shelves: crime
I listened to this on cd. Well read, easy to listen to. Story told mostly by dialogue. Child psychologist turned detective, Alex Delaware walks into a room, describes it, what his subject is wearing and looks like, then has a conversation. Everything is explained in depositions at the end.
Aug 19, 2009 Nicole added it
Good book! I got it at a yard sale for a quarter, not realizing that it was part of a series. I love Dr. Alex Delaware....not as much as I love Dr. Alex Cross, but that's ok. This one was published in 1995 and it's interesting to see detective work without the use of the Net or cell phones.
aPriL purrs 'n hisses
I think that this story is very unique - not so much because of a dream that turns out to be a clue to a repressed memory (which totally happens for real, by the way), but because of the revealing look into how it was in the California Art/Movie/Drug scene. Probably still is this way.
May 18, 2011 Jill rated it 2 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: psychogical thriller, mystery, jonathan kellerman
Jonathan Kellerman's early works are just okay. I thought this book was slightly better than the Clinic eventhough the Clinci was newer than this one. It had an intersting storyline about his patient the sleepwalker.
I just love Alex & Milo. This series is great & what psych does not delve into dreams? Love it & such a fan. I want more!
A good page-turning crime fiction book. The perfect light-reading antidote for some heavier stuff I've been reading recently.
Self-Defense (Alex Delaware) by Jonathan Kellerman (2002)
better than average but feels like standard fare.
Compound book - 60s girl disappears
Pat Bostwick
dr. alex delaware 1995
Lynn Calvin
ereader ebook
Kara Jorges
Psychologist Alex Delaware takes on a new patient when a policeman friend refers him to a young woman who served on the jury of a serial murderer’s trial. Lucy Lowell has been having a recurring dream wherein she is four years old, in the woods, watching three men carry a young woman who appears to be sleeping. When Lucy also starts sleepwalking, she goes to visit Dr. Delaware, who begins investigating the events in the dream.

Lucy’s father is M. Bayard Lowell, a celebrated author turned recluse...more
Kari Ramirez
This review was first posted on my blog at

Boy, Dr. Delaware is always finding trouble!

For some reason Dr. Delaware's forays into crime solving never bug me the way Kay Scarpetta's do. I don't know why. Maybe it's because you get a good sense that Delaware is going that extra mile for his patients. He really wants to help them, really wants to make their lives better, their problems go away. Plus, I think he's a sucker for a good mystery.

I liked the story quite...more
(Book 9 of author's Alex Delaware/Milo Sturgis series.) This is one of Kellerman's better books in this series. The narrator of this audiobook version, Alexander Adams, is very good. The plot has many twists and turns, as well as a largely interesting cast of dysfunctional characters. Milo Sturgis is further fleshed out through his friendship with Lucy Lowell. He befriends Lucy after she serves as a juror for the trial of a vicious murderer. The trial causes Lucy to develop nightmares. These tur...more
Good read
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Erin ♥ (Paperback Stash)
As usual, Jonathan Kellerman writes a potent tale with his lead detective/psychologist sleuth team. Alex Delaware, renowned retired psychologist, is enlisted by his best friend, detective Milo Sturgis, to help recover a potentially hidden murder from the memory of Lucy Lowell. It's nice to see Delaware in personal clinical setting again, delving into intense emotional sessions to uncover a morbid mystery. Suspense is here as always, and some of the characters such as Lucy's father, are unearthly...more
A good mystery by a prolific writer of mysteries. Lucy is a young woman who is having nightmares after serving on a jury. She goes to psychologist Alex Delaware who discovers that the nightmares may be old memories stirred up by the jury duty. Delaware combines forces with police detective Milo Sturgis to solve the dream mystery.

Be prepared to give up some doubts about Delaware's psychology practice behavior, a little willing suspension of disbelief will make this a much better thrilling mystery...more
Kathleen Hagen
Self-Defense, by Jonathan Kellerman, a-minus, Narrated by Alexander Adams, Produced by Books on Tape, downloaded from

Milo Sturgis refers a new client to Alex. She was one of the jury members who convicted a serial killer and she had just gone through the horrific jury trial. She was having post traumatic stress from the trial but it soon became clear that the trial seemed to uncover a dream relating to memories from her past where her father, and two other men, buried a young woman...more
Carol Hawkins
This is an Alex Delaware mystery. It is one of those books that I like to read for the sheer entertainment. The plot is twisty and I was not quite sure who the bad guy was until the last three chapters. Ultimately it is pretty cookie-cutter suspense. Not awful, just a genre that I read when I want my mind to turn off a bit.
After serving on the jury at the trial of a man who committed gross mutilations and killings, young juror Lucy Lowell starts having a recurring nightmare that may or may not be based on suppressed memories. In trying to help her find the meaning of her dream (in which 4-year-old Lucy watches a group of men bury a young woman), Alex discoveries similaries to a 20-year-old cold case.

A fun sub-plot is Lucy's crush on Milo (Alex's gay detective/cop friend). Alex and Robin are also re-building their...more
Alex gets a patient who keeps having the same dream- a dream that wakes her in fear. The dream starts when she serves on the jury of a serial murderer. The story has its usual twists and turns until it becomes clear that this may not be a dream, but a buried memory of another murder that she witnessed as a young girl. I am trying to catch up reading these earlier mysteries in the series and somehow they don't seem as polished as the later ones. This one dragged at the end or I might have given i...more
Apr 05, 2014 Eliana added it
My favorite Dr. Delaware, in a series of psychological crime thrillers! Great co-protagonist in the form of Milo Sturgis. Always a clever psychological component to the varying plot lines.
Another good story line, esp as Im also now thinking of taking an hypnosis cause. Very interesting stuff, also very clever how the human mind works to block out the stuff it thinks will hurt us.
The who-done-it aspect of this book wasn't hard to figure out, but the characters where really interesting. Buck Lowell who we don't ge to meet until half way through has some of the funniest, meanest dialog I have read in a long time. The characters seem very real and that is what I found most compelling about this book. I have not read a lot of Kellerman's books, the first one was not an Alex Delaware book and the mystery was really engrossing. The last two were Alex Delaware books, and I was...more
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Jonathan Kellerman was born in New York City in 1949 and grew up in Los Angeles. He helped work his way through UCLA as an editorial cartoonist, columnist, editor and freelance musician. As a senior, at the age of 22, he won a Samuel Goldwyn Writing Award for fiction.

Like his fictional protagonist, Alex Delaware, Jonathan received at Ph.D. in psychology at the age of 24, with a specialty in the t...more
More about Jonathan Kellerman...
When the Bough Breaks (Alex Delaware, #1) Deception (Alex Delaware, #25) Victims (Alex Delaware, #27) Time Bomb (Alex Delaware, #5) Silent Partner (Alex Delaware, #4)

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“If you ask me, psychopaths are more talented than the rest of us... but they're still fucking psychopaths.” 23 likes
“All of us are like locks. No matter how strong the bolt, there’s always a key out there that opens it.” 6 likes
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