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Time Bomb (Alex Delaware #5)

3.97  ·  Rating Details ·  10,985 Ratings  ·  183 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 bef
Paperback, 496 pages
Published April 29th 2003 by Ballantine Books (first published January 1st 1990)
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Aug 08, 2016 Nancy rated it really liked it
After a failed school shooting, in which no children were killed but the female sniper was, Alex is called in to counsel the traumatized students. The shooter is atypical, with no clear motives as to why she would attempt such a horrible act, until Alex digs deeper. Then a convoluted Neo-Nazi conspiracy is revealed, and Milo helps take out the bad guys. Alex begins to date someone else in this book, Linda whom he meets at the school, and for awhile she is a welcome change from Robin.
Emma Snow
Oct 03, 2009 Emma Snow rated it it was ok
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.
Jan 21, 2008 Seth rated it liked it
Shelves: mystery, read-twice
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
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
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 in terms 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 priv ...more
Feb 19, 2015 Gwen rated it it was amazing
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
Erica Mukherjee
Jul 21, 2009 Erica Mukherjee rated it liked it
Shelves: action-mystery
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
*Audiobook* Like many of the recent Alex Delaware novels I have read, this one requires a certain suspension of disbelief. This author certainly likes his elaborate conspiracies, and this book is no exception. In this case we start with Delaware in his natural element, treating a group of kids who have been terrorized by an aborted sniping attempt. As Delaware attempts to figure out the why behind the crime we get swept up in an elaborate investigation that involves radical groups from the 60's, ...more
Jan 14, 2015 Heidi rated it really liked it
Shelves: mysteries, 2016-goal
Last month I read one of the latest Delaware installments and realized I'd missed a few (or 7-8) along the way, so I decided to go back and read the missed books. So glad I did!!

While the technology has changed (cell phones missing and computers not the norm), the chemistry between pals Milo and Alex reminded me why I liked this series. And the story itself was richer and more layered than some recent entries in the series. What started as one kind of mystery turned into something altogether dif
David Reynolds
Oct 03, 2015 David Reynolds rated it really liked it
Liked it fine! Milo is his usual charming self too!!
Ronald Wilcox
Mar 13, 2017 Ronald Wilcox rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
Book 5 of the Dr. Alex Delaware series of mysteries. Delaware is asked by his policeman friend Milo to help out at an elementary school where a sniper has opened fire on the playground. Although the sniper did not hit anyone and the sniper was killed, Delaware goes to help the children cope with the event and the psychological trauma that ensues. Delaware is then contacted by the sniper's father and asked to do a psychological evaluation of the sniper to determine if they were really at fault or ...more
Feb 18, 2017 JC rated it really liked it
Shelves: my-firsttime, kindle, 2017
A solid entry in the series. After killings at a local school, Delaware comes in to work with the kids. Book starts out really fast and we get some interesting characters in this one.
Feb 19, 2017 Sharon rated it liked it
Shelves: read-on-cd
Just when I thought it was over... more surprises!!!
Mar 12, 2017 Sheila rated it liked it
Shelves: wobble-nbrc
Prejudice and racism run rampant in this one.
Pr Latta
My tags don't reflect the title which brings in counter intelligence, the alt-right, race, history, and ties them all up nicely. This title grabbed me more than previous titles.
Sridhar Babu
Dec 29, 2014 Sridhar Babu rated it really liked it


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
Al Stoess
Jan 04, 2017 Al Stoess rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Kellerman fans. Delaware fans. Sturgis fans.
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jul 09, 2014 Lynda rated it liked it
Shelves: mysteries
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
Mukta Mohapatra
Jul 07, 2015 Mukta Mohapatra rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Sep 10, 2011 Connie rated it really liked it
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
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,
Jul 26, 2012 Robin rated it liked it
Shelves: kindle, 2012, library
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
Jan 27, 2013 Deb rated it really liked it
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

Aug 16, 2012 Alison rated it it was amazing
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
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
Feb 16, 2010 Michael rated it liked it
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
Jul 24, 2011 Kevin Bresnahan rated it it was ok
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
Aug 08, 2015 Alisha rated it liked it
Shelves: comfort-food
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Mar 13, 2016 Donna rated it really liked it
I enjoyed this a lot more than his previous book, Silent Partner. Though I admit these stories seem to go off on a tangent a good part of the time, this one stayed not only in the vicinity of topic but also more believably in an area that Dr. Delaware might be involved.

My only real complaint (and why I can't really in good conscience give five stars) is that the conversations between characters can at times get SO long winded and boring! Did I really care to read six pages covering the type of
Oct 15, 2011 Carolee rated it liked it
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
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Madison Mega-Mara...: Time Bomb 1 2 Sep 11, 2012 06:42AM  
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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 33 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)

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“Therapist’s dilemma: those who need help the most, run the farthest from it.” 17 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.” 7 likes
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