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Self-Defense

(Alex Delaware #9)

3.86  ·  Rating details ·  7,552 ratings  ·  187 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 forest at night, watching ...more
Paperback, 511 pages
Published October 1st 2002 by Ballantine Books (first published 1994)
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3.86  · 
Rating details
 ·  7,552 ratings  ·  187 reviews


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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
jv poore
May 17, 2011 rated it liked it
While I am a huge fan of Jonathan Kellerman's Alex Delaware novels, this one was a bit challenging to follow. It seemed to have too many characters, and the connections weren't very clear. I enjoyed the book, just not quite as much as usual. I did read this book rather quickly, which may not have been the best idea.
Nancy
Aug 08, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: thriller
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 ;)
Tk Good
Dec 18, 2010 rated it liked it
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.
Tgordon
May 21, 2019 rated it really liked it
Good book in this series. They always keep my attention! Always moving and working your mind. This one again about family. Oh family... can’t live with them can’t kill them and get away with it? Ha ha. Just the ones you should always trust right? They have your back! Maybe...
Rama Bader
Feb 07, 2017 rated it it was amazing
alex, alex, alex!
Alisha
Aug 18, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: comfort-food
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
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
John Olson
Feb 27, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Another good story of the good Dr. Delaware. This story has a few twists that has you going in all sorts of directions.
Kitty
Jul 07, 2019 rated it liked it
It's a pretty quick read, perfect for a holiday week or extra long weekend. Kellerman is no Louise Penny (the measure of all thoughtful mysteries for me), but it was well-plotted, kept me guessing to the end. Recommended, if you like this sort of book.
Heather
Sep 25, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2018, audiobook
Thirteen months after the end of "Bad Love" (so 1990 by my math), Alex, Robin and Spike have settled into Malibu while their (his, technically) house is being rebuilt. Though normally a child psychologist, Alex has agreed to a referral from best friend Milo - 26 year old Lucy Lowell, a juror on a gruesome case who is now experiencing recurring nightmares.

At first, Alex is skeptical, but once he learns Lucy's father was once a famous author who fell from grace in the early 1970's, he begins to w
...more
Joyce
Jan 11, 2008 rated it really liked it
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.
Melody
Apr 02, 2010 rated it liked it
Shelves: mystery-suspense
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!!
Melissa
Jan 05, 2009 rated it liked it
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.

Nicole
Aug 15, 2009 added it
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.
Jill
May 18, 2011 rated it it was ok
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.
mark
Feb 08, 2010 rated it liked it
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.
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.
Susan
Aug 21, 2016 rated it really liked it
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.
Karl Marberger
Sep 17, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: suspense
Kellerman is in fine form in this continuing Alex Delaware anthology. These books only get better and better.
Patrick
Jun 10, 2012 rated it liked it
better than average but feels like standard fare.
Katie
Sep 04, 2009 rated it liked it
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 rated it it was amazing
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!
Jamie Lloyd
Apr 05, 2011 rated it really liked it
Compound book - 60s girl disappears
Boremomsn.Com
It took me so long to read this book for a variety of reasons (none to do with the quality of the book or it's story line) that I don't remember well the first 200 pages. The last 300 were good and the book ramped up to a crescendo. I didn't think the ending was done well, it was more of the author telling the reader what happened than it was pulling clues together so they made sense. It was a complicated plot with a lot of players, a girls dream, another girl who made a poor choice and a very b ...more
Nan Williams
Nov 24, 2017 rated it it was ok
This was an early book by Jonathan Kellerman, originally published in 1994. It was OK, but lacking in the things that I've come to love in Kellerman's books. After so very many novels of his, this one just fell flat. It was probably a whing-dinger in 1994, but just slow and tedious in today's world.

On the plus side, the characters were well developed, the plot moved right along and everything was tied up nicely in the end.
Roz
Sep 24, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2017, crime
'Self-Defence' was an acceptable crime novel, predictable in the way most serialised crime novels are - although I hadn't read a Kellerman novel before.

The plot itself was a bit drawn out, the ending even more so. But it was an acceptable read. As far as popular fiction has to go, this one does what it was supposed to do.
Valerie Davis
Jun 20, 2017 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.
Saleena Davidson
Jun 23, 2017 rated it liked it
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.
Arica
Jan 25, 2017 rated it really liked it
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.
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3,609 followers
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

Other books in the series

Alex Delaware (1 - 10 of 35 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)
“If you ask me, psychopaths are more talented than the rest of us... but they're still fucking psychopaths.” 48 likes
“All of us are like locks. No matter how strong the bolt, there’s always a key out there that opens it.” 15 likes
More quotes…