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Blood Test (Alex Delaware #2)

3.81 of 5 stars 3.81  ·  rating details  ·  7,357 ratings  ·  225 reviews
When the parents of deathly ill five-year-old Woody Swope vanish with their child, psychologist Dr. Alex Delaware and his friend, homicide detective Milo Sturgis, begin an investigation into their disappearance. Their search, however, leads them into an amoral underworld, where drugs, dreams, and sex are all for sale and where fantasies are fulfilled -- even at the cost of ...more
Paperback, 308 pages
Published November 4th 2003 by Ballantine Books (first published 1986)
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Community Reviews

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The second book of Alex Delaware series definitely DID NOT appeal to me like the first book. Maybe because the first half of the book, it only talked about a kid who suffered cancer and ended up missing with the rest of the family (possibly brought back to this cult who called themselves The Touch) and a minor case about a messed up father who lost custody.

Well, it was boring :(

I guess, when I pick up a mystery / thriller book, I always need a dead body, a case to solve. The dead bodies (as men
Larry Bassett
This is the second book in the Alex Delaware series. A protagonist, hero who drives a Cadillac Seville is not my type even if a talks a good psychological game. Alex’ choice of cars takes him down a notch in my view. Makes him a bit ostentatious as far as I am concerned. But that is likely a relatively meaningless quibble in the big picture. In my first two encounters with Alex I liked reading his psychological observations. But this book may have gone beyond the pale as far as I am concerned.

When psychologist Dr Alex Delaware was asked to meet Woody Swope and his family, he had no idea where this meeting would lead him. Woody was five years old and had cancer. His doctor at the cancer clinic was an old friend of Alex’s and valued his expertise; the family were not convinced treatment was helping Woody and they were threatening to remove him from the hospital.

Playing checkers with Woody had Alex realizing he was a sweet, innocent child, one who had a good chance of surviving with the
This is only the second book I have read from this author. The first was also part of the Alex Delaware series. The book started out in the court room where a crazed father loses visitation rights to his children. He confronts or solicits help from Alex to help regain his visitation rights. When Alex will not help, his pled for help turns into threat. The story then quickly shifts gears to an 11 year old boy who has cancer. Alex is contacted by an old friend to consult on the case. However after ...more
Rosey Whiting
I enjoyed Blood Test. Johnathan Kellerman is a fabulous writer. This is the second book in the Alex Delaware series, and I can honestly say that it was better than the first, which in my experience isn't usually true. I've almost always thought that the first book or movie in a series is the best.

I really like Kellerman. There was one instance in the book that Alex had the flu, and his great description had me feeling like I had the same thing Alex did (in my head). His descriptions of location
My least favorite Kellerman book to date (I've read a whopping 4 now). Although he merge two unsuspecting story lines together masterfully, the story was riff with incest, sexual exploits of a cult. I did not like the PORNO mixed in with my Murder Death Kill storyline. I SKIPPED many many pages in this novel and surprised I actually finished it. The ending was "too perfect" as everything got tied up in a nice shiney bow. BLAH

I do NOT recommend this book to anyone ... especially NOT for one sexua
Second book by Kellerman on Delaware. You can still feel the not-yet-mature writer here and there, although his first-person Voice is definitely already present, and some dialogues are very strong.

Overall nicely constructed, in a very traditional way, but I felt it lost rythm and grip too often.

Delaware doesn't feel very human, in this book. In some scenes, he is all buddy buddy and sensitive and heroicly altruistic. In other scenes, he is cold, super-hero like, to the point of being impossible
Robert Beveridge
onathan Kellerman, Blood Test (Signet, 1986)

I spent most of this book waiting for that proverbial other shoe. Kellerman, in my mind, has always been one of those Andrew Vachss-style one-trick ponies who blames all of the world's problems on one narrow, and possibly specious, band of the psychotherapeutic spectrum. I hasten to add that I based that opinion on reviews and a cursory reading of Kellerman's first Alex Delaware novel, When the Bough Breaks, a few years back (I read it in tandem with o
Kaykay Obi
Alex Delaware has been asked by a friend, a pediatric oncologist, to speak with a family who is considering refusing cancer treatment for their son. The family is gone before he gets the chance to do so, leaving him a dark and bizarre case to solve.

This is my first Delaware read. I loved the book. Fast-paced, suspenseful and intriguing, I couldn't put it down. My put off, however was the over description - sometimes a page is dedicated to character description. Also I didn't like Alex's over inv
I'm torn between 3.5 and 4 stars. While I did enjoyed Blood Test I have to admit the end was a little hokey. Alex's crime-fighting cape must prevent him from being arrested for all the crime he commits, as well as preventing him from ever being seen sneaking around until he is in a room with no exits. (Seriously, Jonathan Kellerman, is this going to be a theme?)

Two plus points (besides the fact I kind of liked the plot of this better than the first book) - more Milo and less Robin. Unfortunately
Very good read. Everyone and everything is somehow connected in this thriller. Starring Alex Delaware, a semi-retired psychologist who specializes in children and families. Delaware gets mixed up in a case that has the Swope family at it's heart, trying to pull a severley ill child out of hospital, and the Moody family, trying to put their family back together after Mr Moody was found guilty of trying to kidnap his children.

Rape, abuse, murder, intrigue, mystery, cultism and odd characters are
Gerwin Wallace
This was my first Jonathan Kellerman book; it was definitely a quick read, but not a book that I would recommend to anyone else. The pacing was great, the writing was very good, but the story was just "eh". Too many wacky, unrealistic things just happened at the end of the story, and the convoluted family history of the Swopes' was just plain confusing. WAYYYYY too much time spent on all of the myriad different plants and fruits that were being grown. It was also a little unrealistic that our go ...more
This book didn't grip me right away as the first did; it felt like it took awhile to get going. I also had a more difficult time suspending my disbelief in this one. To be fair, book one had a similar array of seeming disparate parts tied into a pretty bow by the end, but for this book to have the same trope was a little much even for me. Eventually I started just rollin' with it, and it turned into an interesting ride. As I'm getting going in this series, I am definitely enjoying the trip back ...more
I picked up this one and a couple of other early entries in this series when amazon offered them on sale for Kindle. It's very interesting going back to read the second book in a series that's now more than 25 books strong - the plot is more baroque and less thematically dense than recent books, and the hero-team of Alex and Milo was both on its own and struggling against institutional indifference to their efforts at best, hindrances at worst. That's in sharp contrast to the latest, where they ...more
Amberly Reilly
I enjoyed this book as much as the first one in the series. Even though the first book explodes and hightails it all the way to the end; this second one is just as brilliant but it starts as a few waves lapping at your ankles to a furious storm and then a calm ocean night. The way Kellerman can get these two brilliant but different rhythm books to take you on each of their own journeys is amazing. I love an author that is unpredictable and doesn't have every book charging out of the gate in the ...more
Catherine  Mustread
Family dysfunction to the max is at the heart of this mystery, #2 in the Alex Delaware child psychologist series set in Southern California. Cults, perversions, kid with cancer, corrupt cops and a former big time LA lawyer combine in this thriller.
2nd novel in the Alex Delaware series. Dr. Delaware, psychologist and his friend, detective Milo Sturgis, investigate the disappearance from a hospital of a very ill 5-year old boy, who urgently needs treatment. While the story as such is potentially interesting, hardly anything happens in the first part. The continuous lengthy and irrelevant discussions with an overkill of details, are very annoying... E.g."he was wearing a belt with an oversized buckle in the shape of an Indian Chief" or "his ...more
Don Massenzio
I have been a faithful reader of Jonathan Kellerman's Alex Delaware novels for many years now. Somehow, I missed Blood Test, which was his second novel in the series. I enjoy these novels because Dr. Alex Delaware functions on the periphery of police work as a consultant, but his involvement often puts him in the line of fire. I also enjoy the buddy aspect of Delaware and Milo Sturgis, who, in this novel, was still a closeted gay detective on the LAPD. Delaware and Sturgis are close friends desp ...more
An entertaining read, but not one of his best. There are three different plots. The author attempts to tie them all together, but the book has a stop-and-go, "meanwhile, back at the ranch," feel. Once the reader settles into one storyline, an old one rears its head. The characters are nevertheless fully fleshed with dialogue, appearance, actions, and reactions, making Blood Test, for the most part, an enjoyable read.

I did not enjoy the scenes designed to horrify or titillate. I thought they coul
The second in Jonathan Kellerman's Alex Delaware mysteries. A bit too tidily netted together but entertaining none-the-less if you like the crime-solving-hero who is independently wealthy, has a perfect girlfriend, and is a magnet for unscrupulous weirdos.
Mukta Mohapatra
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
I thought this one was pretty good. There was a young child with cancer, which I thought was interesting. The descriptions of the laminar air flow room was something I had never read. I am glad my daughter didn't have to go through that when she battled cancer.

The second half of the book, the story became pretty convoluted. There is the Touch, a creepy cult that may or may not be involved with the child's abduction. There is an escort service. A possibly crazy father to deal with. A sexually pro
Colin Buck
How the times have changed. Mr. Kellerman's writing style today is quite different than it was thirty years ago. The reader enjoys the same interesting characters, the same detailed descriptions of Los Angeles, architecture, and new minor characters and their physical appearances. We experience a solid, thrilling crime plot. But the 80s lingo is different from today's dialog, and the biggest difference is the gratuitous profanity, graphic sexual content, and gruesome violence. True, these elemen ...more
Dan Dwyer
Over Description Still Could Not Hide A Good Story

Jonathan Kellerman can certainly make you feel in the scene with his wonderfully detailed descriptions. About a third of the way through, however, I thought they slowed the story, so I began scanning them to get back to the plot and Dr. Delaware. The ending was a bit of a surprise and his explanation might leave some readers wondering how the good Dr. was able to put two and two together. All the information was there. It just had to be corralled
I had to stop reading this one--it got too explicit to handle. Not the gore, but other things.
Aug 20, 2015 Kathy added it
I found the Alex Delaware series of books by accident while looking for something to read. The first book had a yellow cover with spiderwebs on it. Finishing that I was hooked and found it was a series of books. Backtracking through Jonathan Kellerman's work was not easy. He had a lot of novels at that point and it was hard trying to keep track. Doesn't surprise me that I missed one of his earlier novels. A very good series, wonderful characters and leaves you looking forward to the next one. Hi ...more
Amanda Sailors
Blood Test is Jonathan Kellerman's second book to feature protagonist, Alex Delaware; a semi-retired child psychologist. When a dying child's family refuses to consent to a life saving treatment, Delaware is called in to mediate. However, before he can make any head way the family, and the child, disappear from the hospital and Alex embarks on a quest to find them.

I like this series; I like the stories, I like the character, and I like the way Kellerman goes after a lot of controversial social i
Blood Test is the second Alex Delaware book. It’s a far slimmer book than When the Bough Breaks , but the writing is more assured and the story certainly packs a punch. Set about a year after the events in the first book, Alex has recuperated from the broken jaw he sustained and has slowly started to get over the nightmares that haunted him in the aftermath of the events of When the Bough Breaks. He’s also been doing some consulting on the side, even though he’s officially still retired. And it ...more
Dennis D.
Jul 14, 2009 Dennis D. rated it 2 of 5 stars
Recommended to Dennis D. by: Mother Keyes
Entertaining and even propulsive, but similar to When The Bough Breaks, the first Alex Delaware novel, in that it is not as solid overall as the later Jonathan Kellerman books I have read.

In this one, Delaware, a child psychologist, is brought in to convince the unsophisticated parents of a young leukemia patient not to discontinue the boy's chemotherapy. He meets with boy, but before he gets a crack at the parents, they check their son out of the hospital and disappear, leaving an ominous blood
Carl Alves
Dr. Alex Delaware is back in action, this time to save a boy dying of cancer. His parents are both obsessed with fruits (they have a farm), and have some serious issues. Nona Swope, the boys brother, is a twenty year old wild child with a serious act to grind with her parents. Then there is The Touch, a cult like group who operates a commune in the same town as the Swope family. And although they preach that they are sincere, and are just trying to get away from the rat race and get back to natu ...more
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Alex Delaware Series 3 22 May 26, 2015 08:39AM  
  • Sacred and Profane (Peter Decker/Rina Lazarus, #2)
  • Harm's Way (Alan Gregory, #4)
  • Trouble
  • Irresistible
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)
  • 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)
  • The Clinic (Alex Delaware, #11)

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“To trust someone is to take the greatest risk of all. (180)” 75 likes
“His experience and training should have taught him that families are the cauldrons in which violence is brewed. (144)” 13 likes
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