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Time Bomb

(Alex Delaware #5)

3.99  ·  Rating details ·  13,028 ratings  ·  245 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 1990)
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3.99  · 
Rating details
 ·  13,028 ratings  ·  245 reviews

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Erin *Proud Book Hoarder*
“Therapist’s dilemma: those who need help the most, run the farthest from it.”

Since I found this series in my teens, I’ve re-read a few of them quite a bit. It looks like this one was mainly forgotten, though, so I was able to be glued to the mystery and be semi-surprised at the ending. It’s a promising start with a school shooting and a bizarre villain, but the story unfortunately starts slowing and lagging during the middle.

The ending is creative but unrealistic as the odds of these two runni
Diane Wallace
May 23, 2015 rated it really liked it
Great series! a little bit of everything: mystery,romance etc...well researched,by looking into the Holocaust History and descendants of its extra storyline/topics..well written (paperback!)
Emma Snow
Oct 03, 2009 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.
Aug 08, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: thriller
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.
Kathy Davie
Fifth in the Alex Delaware psychological thriller series and revolving around a semi-retired child psychologist.

My Take
It's all about exploitation and corruption. Using the kids to further their own political agendas. People promoted for who they know and what they know that may be destructive to another. The lack of consideration or care from public officials and law enforcement. It's disgusting and fascinating. Disgusting for what these politicians and quacks will do to make a buck, to further
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
Jul 08, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Unabridged audio from Penguin 2014 thru OverDrive
Unabridged ebook from Random House 2003 thru OverDrive
The audio book was missing 5-10%. Liberal lexicon and math if that is 'unabridged'

I came to this series having seen the 1986 TV movie "When the bough breaks" when first shown.
It was an excellent movie with Ted Danson as Alex and Richard Masur as Milo.

I wasn't disappointed with the first two books then the newness wore off and the irritation began.
Goodreads genre omits that his work is: fashion
May 17, 2019 rated it really liked it
Live and love this series. Alex as always is great? This hateful group sneaks up on you. Who is hat when why?
Jan 21, 2008 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
Jan 14, 2015 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
Mal Warwick
Sep 18, 2017 rated it liked it
Child psychologist Jonathan Kellerman writes complex murder mysteries featuring his alter ego, Alex Delaware. There are 32 such novels to date. Time Bomb, published in 1990, was the fifth in the series—and the first I found disappointing.

The set-up in Time Bomb is much like that of the earlier entries: to help children after a school shooting, Alex finds himself drawn further and further into a murder mystery. That seemingly straightforward mystery quickly morphs into a complex case that heads o
Karen Hollins-Stallman
Apr 24, 2019 rated it really liked it
"Time Bomb" is Jonathan Kellerman's fifth Alex Delaware novel and was published in 1990. I started collecting this mystery series in the late 80's when there was the book club mailings and you received a hardcover each month.

Delaware is a psychologist based in LA who earns his living as a consultant - working with the courts and the police.

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 befo
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
R.J. Vaccarelli
I really enjoy the Alex Delaware series by Jonathan Kellerman. This particular book had a great beginning and great ending. A little slow in the middle. Almost like he (Kellerman) was trying to stretch out the book. That's why I only give it three stars. Otherwise a great story. Still worth reading!
Feb 19, 2015 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 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
David Reynolds
Oct 03, 2015 rated it really liked it
Liked it fine! Milo is his usual charming self too!!
Jun 27, 2018 rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2018, audiobook
Following an attempted shooting at a school yard in an affluent neighborhood, where it isn't clear if the intended targets were the children or one or both of the the assemblymen planning an impromptu debate about continuing to bus inner-city kids to this school, Alex is called in by Milo to assess the needs of the children and help them come to terms with what happened. Not long after, he's also approached by the father of the shooter - and lone victim - to do a "psychological autopsy" as he's ...more
Jim C
Sep 20, 2019 rated it liked it
This book is part of a series but can be read as a stand alone novel. In this one, Milo is at the scene of a school shooting and asks Alex to come to the scene to help the children. Alex finds himself in more than a school shooting.

There were both highlights and low points to this offering in this series. I absolutely loved the beginning as we get to see the affected children after surviving an event like this. I was amazed while reading the beginning how it was still relevant to today's world e
Sep 06, 2017 rated it liked it
Easy to read book. The commentary in the book said it would be a hard one to put down for readers. No way is it that. Typical Kellerman story telling, but where it went awry was the motivation. It was written in the late 80's and certainly conspiracy theories were abundant back then, especially right wing groups like Mark from Michigan and the Montana Freeman. They were all groups, but no where close to the type of organization as portrayed in this book. Adding insult to the story was Mr. Burden ...more
Lisa LoVerde
May 11, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Kellerman has a way to keep time me coming back for more...

Alex Delaware is becoming a real person as I continue the Series. You walk in his footsteps, feel for his hardships and heart breaks including the adrenaline rushes; all his highs and lows. He's becoming a friend. What hit close to home for me with this edition is I remember the times in the early to mid-eighties and remember the climate. Scary times. High crime, a lot of drugs. The ignorance, the homophobia, post-Vietnam denial, white s
Susanne Perry
Jan 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing
The first of the Alex Delaware novels for me. I’ve since read them all and enjoyed each one. Time Bomb has remained my favorite. Kellerman added a distinct sociological aspect to this thriller. The result was that I was hooked and Alex, Milo and I became fast friends. Time Bomb May have been overlooked because of the hype around previous novel titled When the Bough Breaks and the making of that film. Excellent read especially if you study people individually, their interactions with others, and ...more
Aug 19, 2017 rated it liked it
Old friends, new lovers, publicity seekers, and Nazis all play key roles as Alex Delaware administers to the psychological needs of school children traumatized by a sniper shooting at their school. As usual, the story includes history lessons and discussion of social caring issues, aspects of this series that I enjoy as much as the thrilling mysteries. I also enjoy his visits to the medical library at UCLA.
May 04, 2019 rated it it was amazing
My thoughts after the last book were if this wasn't any good I would quit reading the series. This was by far my favorite book. It didn't focus on all the mumble jumble techno terms and was more about the people involved in the story. I really liked the fact that Robin was hardly in the book. She didn't do much for me.
susan green
Mar 15, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Alex at his best

Alex is called on to help with a school shooting incident. What follows is a master class in twist and turn storytelling. Heart strings are pulled on many levels, Alex has a new love, his friendship with Milo and his compassion for children all woven into a story of hate and revenge.
Syndi Siahaan
Detective Milo Sturgis asked for consultation help from dr. Alex Delaware after a sniper attack on a school ground. Further investigation shows a more sinister plot that's just waiting to blast. Like a time bomb.

Jonathan Kellerman is truly a master story-teller. The story is interesting with a plot that cannot be imagined from the beginning.
Aurora Dimitre
This was surprisingly twisty--like this was a verifiable web of things that I was not expecting, to the point that I forgot the original plot about halfway through the book and had to be like, wait, right, yes, this book started with someone taking shots at an elementary school.

I liked it. It's impossible for me to not compare this to the Alex Cross books (I read Pop Goes the Weasel last year), and I gotta say, like this better. So far I've read one of these, one of those, both taken from the m
Hagay Hacohen
Mar 20, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Another well written detective novel from a true master

Kellerman is a fine writer who usually writes two levels above the genre. Usually he uses an unusual word or turn of phrase. At other times he weaves in some historical facts that enrich the reader.

This book is no different. Warmly recommended!
William Doran
Oct 15, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

The book like others of his kept you in the dark. Thinking you knew where it was going only to learn that you did not. The introduction of new people into the story such as the grandmother and the grandson also was surprising. I thought maybe the girls dad would finally be found guilty of something that did not happen. Enjoyed it as I do most of his
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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

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)
  • 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)
“Therapist’s dilemma: those who need help the most, run the farthest from it.” 20 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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