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Self-Defense (Alex Delaware #9)

3.84  ·  Rating Details ·  6,369 Ratings  ·  155 Reviews
Dr. Alex Delaware doesn’t see many private patients anymore, but the young woman called Lucy is an exception. So is her dream. Lucy Lowell is referred to Alex by Los Angeles police detective Milo Sturgis. A juror at the agonizing trial of a serial killer, Lucy survived the trauma only to be tormented by a recurring nightmare: a young child in the
ebook, 528 pages
Published April 1st 2003 by Ballantine Books (first published January 1st 1994)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Rama Bader
Feb 07, 2017 Rama Bader rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
alex, alex, alex!
Tk Good
I love Kellerman but this wasn't one of my favorites. The plot was weak and predictable and the story too long, I skipped most of the end when they're interviewing the bad guys, just didn't seem relevant. What I loved was the dialogue of old man Lowell - I don't think I've ever read anything so creatively cruel come out of a character's mouth. Ever. You have to admire someone who can come up with it! Really genius stuff.
Aug 08, 2016 Nancy rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
One of the doctor's patients has a recurring dream that turns out to be a repressed memory from her childhood, that ties in with murder. Looking back at these early books, it is interesting to see the legwork that Milo and Alex put into researching crimes before personal computers and cell phones. Alex actually had to write Robin a note to tell her where he would be instead of texting her ;)
Hayley Shaver
If you like suspense filled mysteries, this is the book for you. Alex Delaware may be one of my favorite characters in literature. Doctor Delaware treats a referral made from his friend Milo. After a trial of a killer, Lucy survived but began to be tormented by a strange recurring dream. It is disrupting her life, and Delaware is afraid maybe sexual or homicide filled memories are coming up in Lucy's dream. Lucy receives strange phone calls and little incidents happen that scare her. Then she en ...more
Erin ☕ *Proud Book Hoarder*
As usual, Jonathan Kellerman writes a potent tale with his lead detective/psychologist sleuth team. Alex Delaware, renowned retired psychologist, is enlisted by his best friend, detective Milo Sturgis, to help recover a potentially hidden murder from the memory of Lucy Lowell. It's nice to see Delaware in personal clinical setting again, delving into intense emotional sessions to uncover a morbid mystery. Suspense is here as always, and some of the characters such as Lucy's father, are unearthly ...more
Aug 18, 2015 Alisha rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: comfort-food
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Marc Wambolt
I liked the beginning of this book. I was intrigued by the idea that the main character, Alex Delaware, was a clinical psychologist and a patient of his had just been on a jury that convicted a serial killer. Now she was having recurring dreams of seeing two men carrying a young woman into the forest. It had potential, but bogged down at one point and I think it would have been a better book if he had taken out about 100 pages. I did like it, but I only give it 3 stars.
Jan 11, 2008 Joyce rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Alex Delaware takes on an adult woman as a patient, a rarity. She appears to be self-destructive, yet denies it. He begins to investigate her childhood based on information she reveals while hypnotized. This leads to a cast of characters that becomes a consuming interest for the reader. There are novelists, ex-convicts, Hollywood types and most of all, the siblings and family of the woman. The plot is intricate and absorbing. The writing, once again, excellent.
Jan 05, 2009 Melissa rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
I picked this up thinking it was new and then couldn't get over the fact that it seemed so familiar. Turns out, it's an oldy! I had read it before and that's why it seemed so much like "some other book I had read".

As always, I do like Jonathan Kellerman's writing style, his characters, and his mix of Alex's detective work vs. therapy work.

Slighltly dissapointed. Jonathon Kellerman is usualy one of my faves but I had a hard time with this one at about page 450 or so. The book started off well but seemed to lose steam as Dr Delaware started his questioning of one of the female characters....I won't say who because I hate spoilers!!

I hope the other books I have by this author are better!!
aPriL does feral sometimes
I think that this story is very unique - not so much because of a dream that turns out to be a clue to a repressed memory (which totally happens for real, by the way), but because of the revealing look into how it was in the California Art/Movie/Drug scene. Probably still is this way.
Good book! I got it at a yard sale for a quarter, not realizing that it was part of a series. I love Dr. Alex Delaware....not as much as I love Dr. Alex Cross, but that's ok. This one was published in 1995 and it's interesting to see detective work without the use of the Net or cell phones.
May 18, 2011 Jill rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: psychogical thriller, mystery, jonathan kellerman
Jonathan Kellerman's early works are just okay. I thought this book was slightly better than the Clinic eventhough the Clinci was newer than this one. It had an intersting storyline about his patient the sleepwalker.
Feb 08, 2010 mark rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: crime
I listened to this on cd. Well read, easy to listen to. Story told mostly by dialogue. Child psychologist turned detective, Alex Delaware walks into a room, describes it, what his subject is wearing and looks like, then has a conversation. Everything is explained in depositions at the end.
Aug 21, 2016 Susan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The book was a good page turner. Described scenes from all my hangouts in California, especially Paradise Cove and the Sand Dollar. Good storyline, like able characters.
Good read
better than average but feels like standard fare.
Jamie Lloyd
Apr 05, 2011 Jamie Lloyd rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: alex-delaware
Compound book - 60s girl disappears
Lynn Calvin
ereader ebook
Pat Bostwick
dr. alex delaware 1995
Sep 04, 2009 Katie rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
A good page-turning crime fiction book. The perfect light-reading antidote for some heavier stuff I've been reading recently.
Kim j
Feb 26, 2012 Kim j rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: kellermam
I just love Alex & Milo. This series is great & what psych does not delve into dreams? Love it & such a fan. I want more!
Jan 18, 2009 Julie rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Self-Defense (Alex Delaware) by Jonathan Kellerman (2002)
Valerie Davis
Jun 20, 2017 Valerie Davis rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Letterman gift of language

An easy yet captivating read. Even when Kellerman writes a novel that has a fairly predictable story line he has the reader turning pages. He has a very good grasp of the language and his ability to use phrases and metaphors in his descriptions all always keeps the reader both amused and captivated. He always allows me to get lost in the story.
Jul 02, 2017 Rachel rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is another great Alex Delaware novel that keeps you gripped throughout although the end starts being predictable about 2/3rd of the way. They scenes and scenery are beautifully described as usual by the author and can transport you into the moment. Overall a good read!
Jan 25, 2017 Arica rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-kellerman
I love Dr. Alex Delaware! In this book he helps Lucy, a former juror on a gruesome case, deal w/dream recollection and her messed up/wealthy family. Lots of plot twists at the end that made it hard to put down. Robin & Spike and the reconstruction of their home is also an interesting side-plot.
Saleena Davidson
Continuing my way through the Alex Delaware books; this one was intriguing but a bit predictable. Still, I enjoyed the ride and found the premise intriguing with all of the real action happening more than 10 years prior to the present it made the detective work much more suspenseful.
Jul 15, 2017 Jody rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Pretty good book for the series. Got a bit boring near the very end, then perked up.
This Delaware novel finds him investigating an old case based on dreams that a patient of his is having of something that happened when she was a child. As he and Milo follow the case they realize much of what she says is correct and people have been killed over the years to keep the secret.
Pam Ferinde
Jan 06, 2017 Pam Ferinde rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Great Read!

As usual plausible characters, lots of tension, twists and turns. Ending has a surprise twice in last chapter! Another absorbing read.
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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)
  • Time Bomb (Alex Delaware, #5)
  • Private Eyes (Alex Delaware, #6)
  • Devil's Waltz (Alex Delaware, #7)
  • Bad Love (Alex Delaware, #8)
  • The Web (Alex Delaware, #10)
  • The Clinic (Alex Delaware, #11)

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“If you ask me, psychopaths are more talented than the rest of us... but they're still fucking psychopaths.” 49 likes
“All of us are like locks. No matter how strong the bolt, there’s always a key out there that opens it.” 13 likes
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