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Time Bomb (Alex Delaware #5)

3.96 of 5 stars 3.96  ·  rating details  ·  8,953 ratings  ·  136 reviews
Edgar Award winner Jonathan Kellerman once more explores the corruption of California and produces a novel of complex characterizations and nonstop suspense. "Scythe-sharp...a great, good read." Daily News, New York.

By the time psychologist Dr. Alex Delaware reached the school the damage was done: A sniper had opened fire on a crowded playground, but was gunned down befo
Paperback, 496 pages
Published April 29th 2003 by Ballantine Books (first published January 1st 1990)
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Blood Orchids by Toby NealSworn to Silence by Linda CastilloHeavy Duty People by Iain ParkeGorky Park by Martin Cruz SmithThe Perfect Husband by Lisa Gardner
53rd out of 427 books — 211 voters
Jurassic Park by Michael CrichtonOh, The Places You'll Go! by Dr. SeussGood Omens by Terry PratchettPossession by A.S. ByattThe Eye of the World by Robert Jordan
Best Books of 1990
51st out of 140 books — 97 voters

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Emma Snow
If you want something to help you go to sleep then read "Time Bomb," which, to put it bluntly, is a real bomb. One word best summarizes it, however, and that is "boring." For one, the story is implausible; two, Alex Delaware comes across as pompous; and, three, Milo Sturgis plays a very small part in the story and Milo is by far Kellerman's best character. In fact, now that I have reconsidered my rating, one star would be more appropriate.
3.5 stars

After reading 5 books in Alex Delaware series I get the formula down to the "t". The motive is not always as simple as it seems and it is always, ALWAYS, rather over-the-top explanation. Like this one, starting from a 'simple' shooting at school, and the shooter was shot, and it developed into something related to "Nazi" principles of white supremacist.

Yeah. That.

But I still enjoyed it -- mainly because Milo played quite a nice role here (he always made the book more fun somehow) and I
Erica Mukherjee
It is convenient for authors that history has given us some eternal bad guys. Stalin, General Mao, Nero, Attila, and of course, our favorite bad guy, the one with no vindicating qualities at all: Adolph Hitler. No author can go wrong when he uses Hitler or a Hitler-esque figure as his villain. Neo-Nazis have a universally approved stamp of evil. And even if the occasional reader feels a certain amount of sympathy for the skinheads, public opinion keeps his mouth shut expect for in the most sele ...more
For the first 50 pages, I wasn't certain I would like this book. A school shooting that draws the protagonist into conducting a psychological autopsy of the perpetrator isn't my cup of tea. However, after page 50 (or so), the book picks up steam, collecting the detris necessary to shape a solidly constructed work. Revelation, answers, are left until the last 50 pages, so the readers are asked to trust the author not to leave them hanging. Given that this is the fifth book in the series, trust is ...more
Sridhar Babu


Nathan Hale Elementary school, Ocean heights. A sniper opened fire on a crowded playground and was gunned down before any children were hurt.

surprisingly the sniper happens to be a young female named Holy Burden daughter of Mahlon Burden living nearby the school. Psychologist Dr.Alex Delaw
A dead sniper at a school prompted Detective Milo Sturgis to request Dr. Alex Delaware’s help with the traumatized schoolchildren. Alex delegated the children into two groups, ones who were coping slowly and others who needed individualized therapy sessions. With his ongoing visits to the school, Alex consulted with the school principal Linda Overstreet regularly and developed a relationship on a more personal side. Hired by Holly’s father to delve into her life, Alex hoped for answers to questi ...more
Good, suspense story. This book was published in 1990 so it's like going back in time where the good guys have to find a pay phone or leave messages - no cell phones! CD's were still new so cassette tapes are often mentioned! Made a dark story "fun" to read in some sections.

I enjoy Kellerman's writing style and, especially, the relationship between Detective Sturgis and Dr. Delaware. Since the story takes place in L.A., I can relate to a lot of the locations. However, I don't like the fowl langu
Book five in my Kellerman Reread is also the fifth book in the Alex Delaware series. Time Bomb deals with what looks like a school sniping avant la lettre, but it is anything but. However, the more I read these books written in the Eighties the more I’m shocked by how little some of the issues have changed. Not just interms of the larger issues such as racism and bigotry regarding sexual orientation, but also in things that I thought were typical of the twenty-first century, things such as priva ...more
Kathleen Hagen
Time Bomb, by Jonathan Kellerman, a-minus, Narrated by Jeff Harding, Produced by Isis Publishing, Downloaded from

Alex receives a phone call from Milo one morning: “quick, turn on the t.v.”..When he does, he finds that a sniper shot at children in a school yard but the sniper was killed by the aide of a politician there to speak to the children. No other children are injured. Milo asks Alex to come right away to consult with the school and talk with the children. When he gets there,
TIME BOMB by Jonathan Kellerman is 468 pages long in paperback and is #5 in Alex Delaware Series.

This is the story about a young woman that allegedly opened fire at an elementary school and was killed by an aide to a councilman. Alex is asked by Milo to help the children deal with this tragedy and to get the kids to move forward and not be afraid of coming and going to school every day. This is a school where the kids have been transported from their own neighborhood to an affluent one, so they
Recently i read this book for the second time. The first time I had read it was nearly twelve years ago. The younger me didn't have enough perspective to give this book enough credit. The older me upon second reading upgrades its star rating by two stars.
Originally when reading this book, i had already read book 1 in this series, but then skipped straight to this book (book 5) omitting books 2-4. But now that I have read those three in between stories and reread this book. I can see that while t
By now, if you've read J. Kellerman's books, you know who Milo Sturgis (detective)and Alex Delaware (psychiatrist) are and how they work together. In this book, we know who committed the crime (a school yard shooting), we know where it was committe, we know when. Milo asks Alex to find out the why. Since the shooter (spoiler-although revealed very early in the book) dies, he must perform a "psychological autopsy" and does so by interviewing the shooters father, friend, school teachers. Tied into ...more
It was an interesting thriller. This was my first time with a Jonathan Kellerman story and I will say... he is a very good story teller. Nice bunch of twists and turns with some psychology mixed in. I think I will be looking for more of his works that revolve around his main character, Alex Delaware.

Note: This was a book that I received from a member of

The Olympics is really cutting into my reading time! I'm hustling to try and get through book 7 by next week. I just can't bring myself to just read book 7. Oh, no. I have to read all the ones before first. Stupid, anal-retentive, self... ugh.

With regards to this particular book, it was a good yarn. Delaware was in prime form, and he and Milo worked as a team through this one, which was awesome. Also a new love interest has appeared in the form of Linda, a high-school principal. While interesti
Really, I should give this two stars, but I'm feeling generous. I'm of the opinion that if you (view spoiler) The moment I realized that was happening, I massively began to lose interest in the plot. Also, there was an undercurrent of communist sympathizing that was more than a little irritating to read.
So, basically this was one big Holocaust lesson with some killing and stuff
Cathy Smith
I received the book for free through Goodreads First Reads. I like the character of Dr Alex. But I was wondering how the incident could make a whole book. It was a bit slow at first, but then as the plot thickened, it beame hard to put down at night and go to bed! Milo is a good character also, and I really liked him. Actually, Mr Burden made the story - the gadgets he used and all made this a very interesting end. Too many people are in the "background" like Holly, and become obsessive about so ...more
Donna Mcnab
This book starts out with a shooter at a public school and a phone call to Dr. Alex Delaware, Psychologist, from his best friend, Sturgis Milo of the Police Dept. asking if he would come to the school to help the school children with any possible trauma. The book goes in some rather unexpected directions after that and provides a very interesting read.
I'm a big fan of Alex Delaware and his crime solving partner, Milo Sturgis. They are well drawn characters who share an intelligent and humorous repartee in analyzing the clues of the case they are working. I don't seem to get tired of them as I have done on so many other crime fighting duos.
This book starts out with a shooting at an elementary school which quickly becomes tangled up with politics, a couple of other murders, and a neo-nazi hate group. It's an entertaining read but perhaps not th
Kevin Bresnahan
Time Bomb has an excellent premise, and has some great moments, yet it was inconsistent. Sniper is killed after trying to shoot up an elementary school. Alex Delaware is summoned to help the children cope, yet he turns into investigator as he is asked by the sniper's dad to dig into her motivations. There are the usual diverse cast and characters, which leads to a group of Nazis. Although this was interesting, the connection with the sniper was left unclear. The climax was quite good, yet it end ...more
This went incredibly slowly for me; I had to force myself to finish it. I'm maybe overdosed on Alex Delaware, since I've read a number of the early books this summer. But this was maybe my least favorite of the series.
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.
This is not his best work. The reason I enjoy Mr. Kellerman's books so much is his ability to take people and situations that are polar opposite yet flawlessly weaves them together. While reading his books, I spend half my time wishing I had a mind that could do that.

I kept recognizing his attempts at "weaving", but unlike most of his work, instead of being jealous of his creativity, I was thinking "oh, please!"

No one's perfect and this is definitely NOT the worst book I've read. If you read the
Morris Maram
What can I say? I am a loyal reader. I find an author that I like and then try and read all the books that he has written. I find all his books enjoyable and nice reads
Ed Schmidt
After a sniper opens fire on a school playground, Milo calls in Alex to work with the traumatized kids. What later develops is political deceit and white superemacy. Alex discovers that the alledged "shooter", a young female, may not have been the shooter at all.
Well this book took me twice as long as the others that I have read so far. I couldnt get into the story at all and didn't really care about the charaters, whether they lived or died to be honest.
So big thumbs down for this one.
A little gory but still one of his good ones. I love this series. This ties in with the news on school yard shootings yet it has a different twist.
Cheryll Manatad
Exciting and I love how you managed to create videos in my imagination. I like Mahlon Burden by the way, I'm a fan of narcissistic people who can actually produced something awesome and very useful, not too fond with how he reared his children though. Good read!
#5 Alex Delaware mystery, pub. 1990 uncovers neo-natzis in California while doing a psychological autopsy on a sniper
Cupof Tea
2.5 stars on this one. I never really connected to any of the characters (except maybe the soft-shell-tough-inside school principal/love interest. Also, considering the story starts with a school shooting, it ends in a very unexpected place. I could tell it was written in a time before Columbine and all the others made the terrible act into a kind of meme. No bullied children turned vengeful rampage killer. Weird plotlines converging instead. I can't really talk about it without giving away the ...more
Inga Johns
To long on describing every minuet detail. That made the book drag. The descriptive language that started after 2/3 of the book was very offensive and made me regret picking this book.
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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)
  • 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)
When the Bough Breaks (Alex Delaware, #1) Deception (Alex Delaware, #25) Victims (Alex Delaware, #27) Silent Partner (Alex Delaware, #4) Dr. Death (Alex Delaware #14)

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“Therapist’s dilemma: those who need help the most, run the farthest from it.” 14 likes
“At first, when a child meets something that scares him, the fear grows, like a wave. But when he goes into the water and swims - gets used to the water - the wave grows small. If we pull the child away when the wave is high, he never sees that, never learns how to swim and remains afraid. If he gets a chance to feel strong, in control, that's called coping. When he copes, he feels better.” 4 likes
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