Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Time Bomb (Alex Delaware, #5)” as Want to Read:
Time Bomb (Alex Delaware, #5)
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Time Bomb (Alex Delaware #5)

3.97  ·  Rating Details  ·  10,377 Ratings  ·  166 Reviews
BONUS: This edition contains an excerpt from Jonathan Kellerman's Guilt.


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 before any children were hurt.

“Virtually impossible to put aside until the final horrifying showdown.”—People

While the TV
ebook, 496 pages
Published May 20th 2003 by Ballantine Books (first published January 1st 1990)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Time Bomb, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Time Bomb

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
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
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
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
Apr 10, 2015 Seth rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
May 22, 2016 Heidi rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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  ·  review of another edition
Liked it fine! Milo is his usual charming self too!!
Feb 19, 2015 Gwen rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Mukta Mohapatra
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jul 13, 2014 Lynda rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Aug 14, 2015 Alisha rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: comfort-food
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Mar 30, 2014 Carolyn rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
*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
Sridhar Babu
Dec 29, 2015 Sridhar Babu rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition


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
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,
Sep 15, 2011 Connie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Aug 16, 2012 Alison rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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

Aug 03, 2012 Robin rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
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
Sep 13, 2014 Cathy Smith rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Apr 02, 2016 Donna rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Rashmi Pant
Dec 11, 2015 Rashmi Pant rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A sniper, female nonetheless, is killed in a school before she is able to hurt anyone. The dead snipers father asks for Alex Delaware's help, who is already helping the children from the school overcome the trauma. Alex agrees and tries to understand what went wrong in the snipers life. Politics. rivalry ans mystery fill the rest of the plot. Another interesting book by one of my favorite authors.
Dec 19, 2015 Sandy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Another good Alex Delaware book. I enjoy the character development of Alex and Sturges. The only issue is see with the books is that Alex always seems to get into life threatening situations and In the back of my mind I have to question "how would a psychologist really act"? The books seem to be well researched into interesting topics and different enough from each other to be entertaining.
May 17, 2016 RMiller rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Another good thriller from Jonathan Kellerman

From beginning to end I wanted to just keep turning the pages to see what was going to happen. Just enough love interest for Alex. Milo, is of course a great detective and keeps the story moving to the next level. Mr. Kellerman always keep you guessing right to the last page. This was a good one!
Donna Mcnab
Mar 01, 2014 Donna Mcnab rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Ginger Smith
Dec 22, 2015 Ginger Smith rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
I don't know why I thought these books were good the first time I read them. Now I know why I stopped reading them. I liked Alex Delaware and Milo Sturgis, but I'm just not liking the stories very much. I think I will go back to reading Faye's books and Michael Connelly's Bosch series. If I wanted conspiracy theory, I would read Baldacci.
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
Dec 07, 2015 Cheryl rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
An earlier Alex Delaware. This one with some pretty bizarre conspiracy theory stuff going on. No Robin in this one, instead Alex has a new, intelligent but definitely psychologically messed up girlfriend. Didn't like this character, she was as clingy as Robin was independent. Glad that Kellerman eventually brought the much more interesting Robin back.

Could always do with more Milo, easily Kellerman's most interesting and likeable character.
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 99 100 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
Madison Mega-Mara...: Time Bomb 1 2 Sep 11, 2012 06:42AM  
  • False Prophet (Peter Decker/Rina Lazarus, #5)
  • Secret Prey (Lucas Davenport, #9)
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 32 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)

Share This Book

“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
More quotes…