Blood Test (Alex Delaware, #2)
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Blood Test (Alex Delaware #2)

3.79 of 5 stars 3.79  ·  rating details  ·  5,618 ratings  ·  160 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, 320 pages
Published November 4th 2003 by Ballantine Books (first published 1986)
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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.

Th...more
Ami
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...more
Brenda
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...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...more
Tabasco
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...more
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...more
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...more
Sheila
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...more
Claire
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...more
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
Robin
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
Suzanne
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
Tami
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...more
Martha
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.
Julia
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...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...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...more
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
Emily
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. Before he gets a chance to connect with them, they disappear. A local cult called the Touch comes under suspicion, as well as the flaky, lady-killer resident at the hospital.
Alex delves deeper into the mystery, taking a lot of the investigating upon himself, (which I still find unlikely) and putting himself in direct danger again. I've been reminde...more
Chris
Weirdly, to me anyway, girlfriend Robin is "past tense" in this Delaware installment, though Alex is in sporadic touch with her.


Incest is the social issue that's prime in this book. The troubled, sullen older teen sister of a young cancer patient -- whom Alex is seeing in hospital -- turns out to be the boy's mother. (The boy himself doesn't seem to know this truth, at least at the outset.)

But Alex doesn't learn that till after a very long haul, which starts when the boy disappears from the hosp...more
Kellie
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
J
MAY CONTAIN SPOILERS.

Weirdly, to me anyway, girlfriend Robin is "past tense" in this Delaware installment, though Alex is in sporadic touch with her.


Incest is the social issue that's prime in this book. The troubled, sullen older teen sister of a young cancer patient -- whom Alex is seeing in hospital -- turns out to be the boy's mother. (The boy himself doesn't seem to know this truth, at least at the outset.)

But Alex doesn't learn that till after a very long haul, which starts when the boy dis...more
Sidna
My husband and I listened to this book on CD on our way from Asheville, North Carolina to our home in Memphis. The book was read by Alexander Adams. I didn't particularly care for his voice.

The book centers around a 5-year-old boy who has curable cancer. Alex Delaware is a retired psychologist who is called in by the oncologist because the boy's parents refuse to let him have the treatment. The parents and a teen-aged sister are with him at the hospital. The parents take the boy from the hospita...more
Carolyn
Some of us in my apartment building have an informal book exchange, using the table in the laundry room as our exchange point. A couple of years ago, someone contributed one of the Alexander Delaware cozies, which I read with interest since the main character is a psychologist. Recently I decided to read a few more and got the first in the series; this is the second. They are okay, make for an interesting and fast read, but, now that I've read three, I think I have noticed a pattern of too much...more
Susan
This is the first Alex Delaware book I've read since I joined GR, so I haven't reviewed any of the others. Supposedly, this is #2 (though I find that hard to believe, especially since, I thought I remembered when his jaw got broken, but it's referred to here). Don't know how I missed it if it really is #2, since I've read through about #20.

I find them all similar but thoroughly enjoyable. Delaware is a (sort-of-retired) child psychologist, who gets into all kinds of strange situations which let...more
Judy
This is an early book by Jonathan Kellerman. I may have read it up years ago, but didn't remember enough about it to take away listing to it again. My Grandmother, who raised me, was an avid mystery reader. She had a big collection of paperback mysteries by Rex Stout, Earle Stanley Gardner, Agatha Christie and others. I used to wonder how she could re-read books over and over. Now that at quite an advanced age, I understand! Always enjoy cases that Alex Delaware and Milo Sturgis deal with.
NATUI
So, still on the Kellerman kick. Also found this one in a thrift shop while on vacation. It was much shorter than the others I have read. It was a good, quick read, and I am finding that I enjoy these characters immensely. Ironically, I had to have blood taken while I was reading this book, and there was a perverse satisfaction sitting in the hospital blood lab reading a book titled Blood Test while waiting.

I will say I felt the book went a little apeshit on the sneaking around no-one-will-see-...more
aPriL meows 'n growls TLDR
Delaware is a brain, and what I like about this series is he sounds intelligent and he sounds like a real psychologist. However, he barely has an inner life except for a ton of overwhelming angst. It feels like instead of drowning his misery in alcohol or drugs, he rescues kids. But these rescues are pyrrhic, so endings are happy because the doctor is still breathing. This one is a quick read, but as usual, children are abused and used as commodities by mentally sick adults so it's not an 'easy'...more
Brian Doherty
Another fine read from Kellerman. I just love his style. I can't quite put my finger on it. I've not read anything other than his Delaware/Sturgis novels, and I think I might start to soon.

The story starts off at a steady pace and the intrigue kicks up a few notches in various places. I enjoyed this one.
Melody
This was book 2 in this series and I never read his books in order! But it was a great back fill for the stuff I didn't know about Alex and Milo! he book moved quickly and I stayed interested till the end! Always enjoyed Jonathan Kellerman, Recommend!
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Alex Delaware Series 2 17 Dec 21, 2012 11:14AM  
  • Sacred and Profane (Peter Decker/Rina Lazarus, #2)
  • The Empress File (Kidd & LuEllen, #2)
  • Harm's Way (Alan Gregory, #4)
  • Minor in Possession (J.P. Beaumont, #8)
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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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“To trust someone is to take the greatest risk of all. (180)” 54 likes
“His experience and training should have taught him that families are the cauldrons in which violence is brewed. (144)” 11 likes
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