Jerry's Reviews > The Conspiracy Club

The Conspiracy Club by Jonathan Kellerman
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Jul 20, 2010

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Read in January, 2004

New shrink doc a lot like old one, but decent story awaits...

Feeling that the Alex Delaware series has lost a great deal of zest in recent books, we snapped up this latest Kellerman on learning it featured a completely new leading man, psychologist Jeremy Carrier. This doc practices on staff at a regular hospital; and we were surprised to learn how busy he was with the care and concerns of fairly normal patients whose current medical conditions were mostly other than mental difficulties. Carrier himself is dealing with the unsolved murder of his former serious nurse girlfriend, a case that has brought suspicion against himself by cop Bob Duresh. Soon a couple more killings suggest a possible link between Carrier's girlfriend and the other victims, a thought that once again sics Duresh onto his trail. Then another mysterious character, pathologist Arthur Chess, befriends Jeremy and invites him to an elaborate dinner meeting of some sort of secret society interested in dark human deeds. A series of follow-up clues from Chess to Carrier set our hero in pursuit of who might be the real perpetrator of these crimes. The clues continue to unfold and confound as Kellerman sets a nice pace of action and reaction throughout this suspenseful mystery; and of course our hero catches the bad guy in the end.

We felt mixed emotions about this novel. We almost always enjoy Kellerman's writing, even though his last few books seemed a little stale. Our problem with this one is that while the mystery per se was entertaining enough, the characters were almost lookalikes to the Delaware clan: Jeremy for Alex, new girlfriend Angela for Robin, and cop Duresh for Sturgis, though the latter mostly an adversary instead of an ally. We find the speculation of other reviewers that maybe this manuscript was a precursor to the Delaware series as mildly amusing, but not impossible. So -- reasonably good novel, but not great.

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