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Compulsion (Alex Delaware #22)

3.72  ·  Rating Details  ·  6,564 Ratings  ·  435 Reviews
Once again, the depths of the criminal mind and the darkest side of a glittering city fuel #1 New York Times bestselling author Jonathan Kellerman’s brilliant storytelling. And no one conducts a more harrowing and suspenseful manhunt than the modern Sherlock Holmes of the psyche, Dr. Alex Delaware.

A tipsy young woman seeking aid on a desolate highway disappears into the i
Hardcover, 352 pages
Published March 25th 2008 by Ballantine Books (first published 2008)
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Apr 14, 2008 Susan rated it really liked it
If you like Kellerman's other books, you will probably like this one. I actually liked it more than some of the other ones. Sometimes, I find Alex Delaware's psychological insights a little too obscure and feel they muddy the picture. This time, he was a little more reigned in, and I found this book to be much more readable as a result. It still contains all of the elements we love--Milo, Robin, and Alex's cute new dog. The only drawback was that the two mysteries in this book got tied up a litt ...more
May 14, 2008 Seanna rated it liked it
I love Dr. Delaware, and I'm glad he's back with Robin the Mandolin Maker, but I think Dr. Kellerman might have phoned this one in just a little bit. It's still worth reading because it's Alex Delaware (well and Milo) but this one was not the most stellar. If you are reading this, Dr. Kellerman, I'm sorry. I feel like a traitor for dissing your book with only three stars. It's just that I have higher standards for you, sir, than for some of your turn off the internet and get bac ...more
Oct 28, 2008 Sherril rated it really liked it
I got really tired of the goofy similes and metaphors. For example:

"His spiky (hair) do fit him like lipstick fits a goldfish." page 194-195

I never noticed this about Kellerman's writing before, which makes me think that he was trying something new. He needs to work on some subtlety.

Other than that, excellent book, as usual.

My favorite quote (and a reminder of why to be patient with my nieces and nephews), from page 281:

"Good was Antoine's age at the time of the disappearance. You see a fifteen
May 04, 2008 Carrol rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: books-on-cd
It has been a while since I have read or listened to a Jonathan Kellerman book. His regular charachers have become pretty predictable and this story dragged a bit - at least on CD. If you don't have a "history" with Alex Delaware and Milo Sturgis, the 2 main characters, and also with his lesser regulars, some of the subtleties are easy to miss. This book doesn't give you much background development of the characters - there seems to be an assumption that you have read some of the earlier books. ...more
Moira Russell

"I was a double major at U. New Mexico."

THAT IS A LINE SPOKEN BY A SUPPOSED NM NATIVE. AT FIRST I TOTALLY COULD NOT PARSE WTF HE MEANT AND THOUGHT KELLERMAN WAS MAKING UP A UNIVERSITY. It's called UNM! Jesus Christ. Yeah yeah it is a TINY fucking detail but it did not just throw me out of the story, I nearly threw the book against the WALL. Writers are supposed to be careful with language! Words are how you get inside someone else's head -- as Stephen King sai
Jun 18, 2008 Jen rated it liked it
Alex Delaware is back in Jonathan Kellerman's newest novel, Compulsion. He and Milo are hot on the case again. This time they are trying to solve a mystery that starts with a stolen Bentley...a stolen Bentley with blood on the seat. However, there is no body and no suspects. Their detecting starts to uncover strange clues that take Alex all the way to New York City.

That's the main storyline of the plot. However, for some reason, Kellerman includes two very minor subplots. First, there is a deat
Carol Storm
Dec 03, 2011 Carol Storm rated it it was ok
I love Jonathan Kellerman's Alex Delaware novels. They are chilling, deadly and suspenseful every time! But why is it that the victims are always sexy young party girls who just want to enjoy themselves?

Of course, I do understand that you can't have a serial killer without a victim, just like you can't have a dragon without a damsel in distress. But in most other genres, whether suspense, mystery, or medieval romance, the damsel is usually portrayed sympathetically, as a nice person.

For some r
Thom Swennes
Apr 09, 2014 Thom Swennes rated it liked it
Life and love seems to move in inches and then suddenly it takes flight and travels in light years. This is the 22nd Alex Delaware novel and once again has this criminal psychologist worming his way into the mind of a killer. The story raises questions in the reader’s mind that keep that grey matter working overtime. The story exposes many different facets. A young woman named Katrina Shonsky (Kat) accepts a ride with an old lady driving a Bentley and disappears. Another old woman, Ella Mancusi ...more
Nov 15, 2010 Vicki rated it it was ok
I had an epiphany last year when I read my umpteenth Alex Delaware novel: Jonathan Kellerman's run out of plots. I don't know why I keep reading them; god knows I don't expect anything different.

In Compulsion, the first hint that something's amiss is when someone takes a Bentley out for an unauthorized spin, a victimless crime. A mere speck of blood is found on the front passenger seat. Yawn. A few weeks later, a woman is stabbed to death in her front yard, the killer makes his escape in a Merc
Joe Young
Mar 17, 2012 Joe Young rated it really liked it
Another Police procedural story that has Police consulting Psychologist Alex Delaware pairing with detective Milo Sturgis and try to find the body that was tied to a small patch of type O blood found on the leather upholstery of a Bentley that had been jacked from an upscale residence in Brentwood. Finally, a mother files a missing person complaint on her daughter. Followup showed the missing girl frequently left for extended visits to exotic spots with little or no notice. When her residence wa ...more
Jul 25, 2010 Jerry rated it it was ok
Mediocre outing -- even JK seems tired of our buddy Alex!

We've read every single Alex Delaware novel, so are big fans, well-informed about this series. What started out great - the child psychologist by profession who consults with the police; specifically Milo Sturgis, a gay, very interesting, and persistent homicide cop; on murders where the police feel they need a consultant's help - has resolved into little more than two detective buddies, one paid, the other an amateur hardly more skillful
Jul 02, 2008 Ellen rated it really liked it
As always, Dr, Alex Delaware and novelist Jonathan Kellerman are in fine form. Alex is back with Robin, and his trusty friend/confidante Milo is by his side to unravel the newest mystery of a series of bizarre murders in LA.

In direct contrast to this well-crafted book, Patricia Cornwall is at the bottom of her game with "The Front" which features characters previously introduced in "At Risk." This short (less than 200 page) essay in mindless blathering disappoints on every page. The characters
Dec 26, 2008 MD rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery-thriller
It's ok. When this series began I read every book as soon as it came out. Especially, I couldn't get enough of the Milo Sturgis character. But since I tend to dislike mysteries/thrillers in which the antagonist goes after the main character (or his/her significant other, niece, etc.), I stopped following the series after Kellerman wrote a couple of those. I decided to give the series another try a couple of months ago and read one in which Alex had split with boring musical-instrument-maker girl ...more
Mary JL
Oct 01, 2009 Mary JL rated it liked it
Recommends it for: any mystery fan
Recommended to Mary JL by: No one--fan of series
Shelves: mystery-horror
I have always enjoyed the Alex Delaware series. I find the two main characters--Alex and Milo--very interesting. I also find the many plot twists in the books interesting and suspenseful. Some people see thru these twists and see things coming--I seldom can figure a mystery out.

The way the two seperate cases are handled in this books and the twists and turns Alex and Milo enouncted where attempting to solve the crimes I found very, very interesting.

Admittedly, this is not a book that will stay
Aug 18, 2009 Kirsti rated it liked it
A fun vacation read, but not appreciably different from the other Alex and Milo books.

I'm going to reprint my friend Jackie's review, as I think it describes the book really well. "Usual Kellerman here....almost a Kellerman Mad is that formula...and as a bookcrossing friend pointed out to me...half the book is about what they eat...lunch and dinner is described in more detail than the crimes or criminals being chased. So in review....Bad guy does something...Milo eats alone...Milo Eats w
Dec 31, 2009 Stephanie rated it it was ok
This book, given to me by a friend, was one of Kellerman's many stories that that have a psychological overlay, due to Kellerman himself having a degree in psychology .... The book is a far-fetched, fast-paced typical murder mystery, written as many of these stories are, in a straightforward, inelegant style that makes for an easy read, apparently the type of book that seems to sell nowadays. The only reason I read it was because I thought it might cure my insomnia (it didn't). I'm glad that I d ...more
Dena Schwartz
Aug 10, 2015 Dena Schwartz rated it did not like it
Can't even finish it. Seriously. Cannot force myself to read past chapter 13. The writing and the editing are both lacking. At one point the detective walks into the security office of a car lot. As he walks in the security guard reaches up and turns off his radio. On the next page, the detective reaches over the security guard and shuts off his radio. Maybe I'm too picky, but sorry... I expect more from a guy who has written and published as many books as Kellerman has. This was my first attemp ...more
Krys Gut
May 17, 2011 Krys Gut rated it it was ok
Shelves: mystery-suspense
My first Kellerman book, must say the writing was flat and uninspired. The story line could have been interesting, but missed the mark. Felt like Kellerman's goal was to crank out a book and collect a paycheck.

The book covers psychologist Alex working with detectives to solve the disappearance of a young woman and the murder of an older woman, and what links the two.

Don't want to spoil it for any, but you're really not missing anything, read something else.
Jan 31, 2016 Juanita rated it liked it
Review: 1CCompulsion 1D by Jonathan Kellerman. It started out slow then flowed smoothly up to the slow drawn out ending. I feel this wasn 19t one of Jonathan Kellerman 19s best but still a good read.

It started out with a missing young girl which led to a stolen Bentley. Then the story moves on to a witness claiming a man about the age of 40, getting out of a luxurious Mercedes ran up to an older lady and murdered her while she was walking out into her driveway to retrieve her morning newspaper.
Jackie W.
Jun 16, 2011 Jackie W. rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: People who like Law & Order.
Shelves: summer
It was enjoyable. It wasn't my favorite Alex Delaware book, but I kept reading. The end wasn't as shocking as some of the others have been.

I wish I had Goodreads when I read most of these books in high school...I can't keep the old ones straight and if I recommend them to people at work I can't say, "This one was REALLY good." Because I can't remember. Maybe I should reread them...or at least reskim them.
Feb 19, 2014 Judy rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Due to issues with my eyesight, I've been "reading" mostly audio books lately. So I've fallen back on some favorite authors whose books are easy to get in audio from the library. I've read a good number of Jonathan Kellerman's books through the years and enjoyed them. Though I like Psychologist Alex Delaware pairing with detective Milo Sturgis to solve cases as a consultant for the L.A. Police Dept, this one was somewhat convoluted. It was actually several cases that took Delaware off on several ...more
Jul 16, 2011 Heidi rated it it was ok
Shelves: mysteries
Unfortunately not a great Delaware read! Hate when characters become omnicient to save the author time--- it's just deadly dull in a mystery. Alex "surmised" so much about the phsychopath that I was thinking if he'd pick a few numbers, I should buy a lotto ticket... Despite this dull entry, I still love Milo, Blanche and company.
Wayne Shepherd
Jul 03, 2015 Wayne Shepherd rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Wendy Dawn
Compelling - compulsory read - ha! My book review for Jonathan Kellerman's psychological thriller is posted at the following location. I'd appreciate it if you take a peek. Thanks.
Aug 03, 2014 Dlytle rated it liked it
I'll call this one three and one/half stars. Alex and Milo pair up again to tackle crime. Alex is more front and center on this one, traveling alone cross country to interview people who may have information. Car thefts, disappearances, and murders that on the surface are totally unrelated have a thread of commonality, and Alex and Milo untangle that web. There are, as usual, unexpected plot twists and turns, and I’ll admit the final answer came as a surprise to me.
There is also a secondary stor
I have to agree, not one of his BEST.


Alex Delaware is back in Jonathan Kellerman's newest novel, Compulsion. He and Milo are hot on the case again. This time they are trying to solve a mystery that starts with a stolen Bentley...a stolen Bentley with blood on the seat. However, there is no body and no suspects. Th
Danielle Ricci
Feb 08, 2014 Danielle Ricci rated it it was amazing
Compulsion goes into the depths of human's sought after approval. It shows that some people don't let go when they get hurt, they get even. The mystery is always good in a Kellerman novel and I love to say that I have read quite a few. I did enjoy this book very much, though it was a quick read. I usually prefer books to take a little longer. That way I can "savor" the book. But this one is excellent in it's own right. This one goes into the poverty of man, the riches of man, and what people are ...more
Nov 28, 2014 Ed rated it really liked it
Shelves: psychology
#22 in the Alex Delaware series. An enjoyable series and I can't explain why I haven't yet read the 6 entries that have followed this one.

Alex Delaware and Milo Sturgis accidently look into the case of an expensive black car stolen and left nearby, fine except for a blood spot on the driver's seat. A retired teacher is brutally attacked and the killer calmly leaves in an expensive black car. Alex suspects a connection and finds a similar attack years earlier. That gives them a starting point fo
Jul 01, 2014 Janet rated it it was amazing
Excellent author. Excellant characters. Excellent plots. Excellent book. Serious surprises at the end.
I thought chapter 38's ending should've been the ending of the book. Thought, "Anymore will just be overkill". I was very wrong. Jonathan Kellerman was right to add chapter 39...
brilliantly right.

Rianna and Bethie =
Two of the worst friends a girl can have.
Unfortunately, this is a common situation in reality.
"A friend left me alone, blasted in the parking lot of a bar at 2:30 in the morning,
Anirban Das
Dec 12, 2014 Anirban Das rated it liked it
“Hey stuff happens. Then it un-happens. I’m staying positive”

I had never read a Jonathan Kellerman book before. So, Compulsion was my first. And, though I won’t be searching for another book written by him eagerly, I won’t turn down one either, if I happen to encounter it.

This book featured the protagonist duo of policeman Milo Sturgis and psychiatrist Alex Delaware. The character of Sturgis reminded me of Reginald Hill’s creation Andrew Dalziel. Not only were they both fat, but Sturgis’ style o
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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 about Jonathan Kellerman...

Other Books in the Series

Alex Delaware (1 - 10 of 31 books)
  • When the Bough Breaks (Alex Delaware, #1)
  • Blood Test (Alex Delaware, #2)
  • Over the Edge (Alex Delaware, #3)
  • Silent Partner (Alex Delaware, #4)
  • Time Bomb (Alex Delaware, #5)
  • Private Eyes (Alex Delaware, #6)
  • Devil's Waltz (Alex Delaware, #7)
  • Bad Love (Alex Delaware, #8)
  • Self-Defense (Alex Delaware, #9)
  • The Web (Alex Delaware, #10)

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