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(Alex Delaware #23)

3.82  ·  Rating details ·  10,451 ratings  ·  571 reviews
When it comes to writing deftly layered, tightly coiled novels of suspense, #1 New York Times bestselling author Jonathan Kellerman reigns supreme as “master of the psychological thriller” (People). Now, Kellerman has worked his magic again in this chilling new masterpiece.

The anonymous caller has an ominous tone and an unnerving message about something “real dead . . . bu
Hardcover, 353 pages
Published October 9th 2008 by Ballantine Books (first published 2008)
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Average rating 3.82  · 
Rating details
 ·  10,451 ratings  ·  571 reviews

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Dec 28, 2008 rated it liked it
It seems like Jonathan Kellerman is getting more graphic, unnecessarily. I thought there was less psychology. I gave up the Kay Scarpetta series by Patricia Cornwell years ago for the same reason.
Kellerman's books are always good and this one was no exception. The story was enjoyable, but it is not one that I would re-read. There was no character development for Alex and Milo, and Robin was a very minor character in this book. While there are some twists and turns to the plot, the ending was not a surprise. This book was okay, but not one of my favorites. ...more
Dec 02, 2008 rated it it was ok
Meh. Honestly, the last three I've read have been fairly bland. Not that the murder mystery isn't salacious (it is) and nasty (ditto) but the characters have stalled out. Milo is Milo, Alex is Alex, Robin is an afterthought, we get a bit more of Dr. Rick but honestly, who cares? There's a new character, a rookie cop, named Moe. I found him the most interesting.

I'm tired of how all of Kellerman's killers are real sickos. (I know, I know -- aren't murderers, by definition, mentally unbalanced? Yes
Dec 12, 2020 rated it liked it
3...Better than the last novel in this series, for sure. Am hoping Alex has a client to carry through other novels, due to the ending! Am really missing the "child" psychology part... ...more
Mary JL
Nov 26, 2008 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Any adult mystery fan
Recommended to Mary JL by: Fan of author
Shelves: mystery-horror
I have read and enjoyed most of the "Alex Delaware" series. Alex and his good friend, Milo Sturgis, are like old friends to me. I like the interaction between the two; I like the many twists and turns in the plots and I like Kellerman's brand of psychological suspense.

The body of a young strangled woman is found in a nature preserve. Her right hand has been cut off. Joined by a rookie Detective---Moe Reed--Alex and Milo begin a search of the scene---and discovere three more corpses buried in the
Craig Monson
Jun 26, 2019 rated it liked it
I was surprised to find an Alex Delaware that I hadn't read. Diverting enough, with some of the old, familiar characters (who by now are seeming a bit pale). Newer additions to the stable (e.g., the rookie detective and his brother) seem to garner a bit more attention and care from the author, as do some of the walk-on characters who appear and disappear (but those have always represented a Kellerman strong point). The plot (as dark as many others, this time with hookers' bodies, discovered in a ...more
Tory Wagner
Sep 24, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: mystery
I have read this series off and on for many years and always enjoy coming back to it. The mysteries are always interesting and the characters continue to grow throughout the series. Every time I read a new one I feel as though I am visiting old friends. It is not necessary to read the series in order, but for those inclined, you will have many days of reading bliss ahead of you!
Jack Heath
Jan 02, 2020 rated it really liked it
4 Stars. What can I say, it's a classic psychologist Alex Delaware novel. I don't like the word "formula" but that's one of the reasons for my excitement. It's why I return to Kellerman! Here's how they work: a serious situation develops; detective Milo Sturgis bulldogs his way through the evidence, and many massive meals, and then Delaware's talent at reading suspects becomes key to the resolution. In suburban Los Angeles, an environmental sanctuary called the Bird Marsh has recently been saved ...more
Aug 31, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: thriller
A new detective is introduced, Moe Reed, and he is a welcome addition to the tired duo of Alex & Milo. The anthropologist doctor investigating the crime scene in the marsh was another welcome addition, for it affixed interesting detail to an otherwise bland book. Kellerman used to write psychological thrillers, but they seem now to be cop buddy books, with Alex seeming like an honorary detective instead of a psychologist.
Alex Delaware #23:
Another decent mystery crime thriller in Kellerman's internationally best selling series. Human finger bones are found in an abandoned garage lot sale; later four handless female corpses are found on ground reserved by ecologists! Everything points to the perpetrator being a local estate manager with a dodgy past, but can this case be really that straight forward? Despite having written over 20 books in this series Kellerman manages to keep these books thrilling and unputdownab
Jerry B
Jan 16, 2020 rated it liked it
It looks like “Bones”, 23rd in Kellerman’s popular Alex Delaware series (of currently 34) failed to energize many of even long-time fans of these tales – including us. While it of course featured protagonists Alex and his interesting police detective pal Miles Sturgis, who is mentoring a new detective herein, the plot was so complicated, and yet somewhat far-fetched, that we tired of it long before the big reveal.

Some bones are discovered in an eclectic LA-area marsh that supposedly has an organ
Nov 10, 2008 rated it liked it
Shelves: suspense
It was slow going and a tad bit boring. I could not wait to finish it. I expected more excitement and more explanations in the story line.

This book was just ok for me. I understand his previous writings are much better which is good to know because after reading this one I might now have picked up another one of his books
Dec 08, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
As a huge fan of these series, I was pleased to read this installment where yet another new secondary character, a rookie detective, (from Venice precinct), is introduced. Admittedly, I feel that Moe (Moses) Reed received a more thorough character description than Sean Binchy, another young detective, that was introduced in earlier books. With Binchy, we stay on the surface, with Moe Reed, we feel the author dig deeper, especially when also introducing his half brother, Aaron Fox. There's bad hi ...more
I read the Alex Delaware-Milo Sturgis novels from time to time. At times Delaware’s personal life is as much of the story as is the mystery. Other times it takes a decided back seat. This one is of the latter type. We get to check in with Robin, Delaware’s gf, from time to time, but it’s peripheral. The emphasis is on Alex’s involvement in a multiple-murder case.

The case starts with an anonymous phone call saying there is a body in the marsh. Eventually that body is found and dogs find addition
Mar 02, 2017 rated it really liked it
I gave "Bones" 4 stars because of the interplay of Milo Sturgis and Dr. Alex Delaware, which was strong in this book. It also introduced Moses "Mo" Reed and his part in the story was more significant than his other roles. I felt the actual murder plot was lukewarm. ...more
Jan 16, 2012 rated it liked it
My full review can be found on my blog:

It is hard for me to buy books from authors I do not know or am unfamiliar with; mostly if the author was not recommended to me by someone I know and who would have an idea of what kind of books I like. However, sometimes I do take that chance and this was one of those times. Part of the reason was the price…this book was only $2 and if I really hated the book, well, at least I wouldn’t have to beat myself up about p
Cameron Wiggins
Nov 02, 2011 rated it liked it
This was my first delving into the Alex Delaware books of Jonathan Kellerman. I must admit that I really liked it quite a bit. I will definitely be reading more of the series. It was interesting, though, as it was like having a story told to you as if you were along for the ride, or something. It is kind of hard to explain.
Anyway, for those of you who are not familiar, Alex Delaware is a psychologist who works with the LAPD. This book centers around a marsh that is preserved, holy, envirnomental
Vannessa Anderson
Feb 06, 2009 rated it really liked it
Bones is another winner for Jonathan Kellerman!

An anonymous caller reports a body in L.A.’s Bird Marsh. The body is identified as piano teacher Selena Bass. Forensics anthropologists, Alex Delaware and Milo Sturgis come to investigate and while investigating, other bodies turn up. But something doesn’t add up! The other bodies are prostitutes so what’s the connection between them and Selena? As the story unfolds we follow the investigation to suspect Travis who was falsely accused of killing a
Jackie W.
Jun 16, 2011 rated it liked it
It was okay. I feel like I used to be more surprised by the endings of these books. Either I'm older so I'm able to see it coming or the last two haven't been as suspenseful as older ones. Still enjoyable though. ...more
Jul 13, 2020 rated it really liked it
Rookie LAPD homicide detective Moses "Moe" Reed makes his debut in this novel – interesting to note for those of us who are ascending this mountain of murder mysteries by a non-canon-order route – and brings family baggage with him, in the form of a rivalry with his ex-detective-turned-private-investigator half-brother, Aaron Fox. Maybe the title of this book could be interpreted as a reference to Moe's anxiety to "make his bones" as a colleague of case-closing phenom, Lt. Milo Sturgis, whose co ...more
Alonzo Church
Mar 14, 2018 rated it it was ok
I am a mystery fan, and have read gazillions of these things. I like trying to figure out the killers and usually failing. I enjoy writers illustrating the analytical mind at work. I like that the mystery (like the western) is often a vehicle for a writer to address serious concerns, or describe an interesting place, or do a little social commentary or even, occasionally, do a little bit of comedy. Policeman see all the strata of society, so a police procedural is often the best way to do a litt ...more
Apr 15, 2020 rated it really liked it
Bones begins with a guy buying the contents of a foreclosed storage unit only to find an bunch of junk magazines, newspapers and crap. Except at the bottom of a bag of trash is a beautiful wood box with what appears to be polished finger bones inside of it.
Soon after a corpse is found is a protected marsh area of LA with it's right hand cut off. Soon 3 other bodies are found in the marsh as well with a similar disfigurement. But unlike the first one they have been there awhile.
Enter Milo and A
Eric Smith
Dec 31, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: thriller, mystery
My final book of 2018 and it went out on a very dark and twisted note but that’s exactly what I’m looking for with this series. What I love about this series is that the people who commit these acts are damaged and twisted and often broken in some fundamental way and yet they feel completely authentic. It’s fascinating, compelling and frightening.
There are people like this out there and they are neither the predators or the prey of the human species. They are the monsters in the dark that disca
Jan Beaton
Nov 14, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This is the second time I 've read this book. I bought it in hard cover when it first came out. I don't believe Goodreads was even invented, at any rate, I probably wouldn't have even considered writing a review at the time,I read for the enjoyment and pleasure of reading. Mr. Kellerman's books have always held an interest for me, from the first to his most recent. This one was just as good, or maybe even better the second time around. I found that I learned different things this time. I believe ...more
Alex Shrugged
Hand bones are found in a box, thus the title of the book, but what really draws attention to the murders is an anonymous call and a body found in a protected wilderness area (read as "swamp" or marsh"). As the investigation progresses, more bodies are found and the suspect suddenly disappears. Is he/she dead or simply hiding? And how many people have been murdered?

Any problems with this story? Not really. I found the obvious rich and snarky teenage delinquents a little tiresome, but not too bad
Aug 29, 2019 rated it really liked it
The story opens when women prostitutes are found dead in a bird marsh. The volunteer to keeps an eye on it is also found dead. Who is doing these murders? When a young women named Selena Bass, who is a great piano player and is a teacher for a boy of a rich family is also found dead in the same place and the family is missing raises the concern of a serial killer is on the lose. Alex Delaware and Milo Sturgis try to solve these crimes. We have a new character by the name of Moe Reed as a young d ...more
Brenda B
I'm not great at reviews.

Having said that, I didn't think it flowed wonderfully. I had to keep reminding myself the narrative was Alex. I feel like he was a lost person.

Usually shortly into a book. I understand who the characters are and can separate them, almost identify with them in some form.

Half way through I gave up trying to keep them straight and who was dating who, or who was who's sibling or the rookie. It was too much work.

Was it a bad book. No.

Would I read another in the series.
Dr T
Dec 11, 2019 rated it liked it
Another entertaining, well-written book in the Alex Delaware. This time the story didn't seem as compelling as many of the earlier entries in the series. Delaware didn't get involved until nearly the half-way point in the book, and even then his participation was much less important to the solution of the crime. The introduction of Detective Moses Reed was good, and I hope to see more of him in later books. The guilty party was fairly obvious long before the end of the book, and the story took i ...more
Feb 21, 2017 rated it really liked it
I enjoyed this book tremendously. It kept me interested and I read it rather fast. It didn't completely disrupt my life either (that sometimes happens when I want to read rather than talk to others) but it was interesting enough to ensure that I was always keen to read when I had a free moment. I also enjoyed the resolution, it was a bit more haunting than some of the other Kellerman books I'd read. ...more
Elizabeth Rebecca Shaw
An okay mystery by an author that has written many. He tries to hard to create quirky characters in this one (imho) and doesn't really succeed in giving them an adequate back story although he tries. He also tries to add to his two main characters, adding a new detective and that may be detracting from his development of the murderers and victims. Maybe I'm just getting a bit jaded with his writing style. ...more
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Bones 3 21 Jun 04, 2014 01:47AM  

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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 36 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)
  • Self-Defense (Alex Delaware, #9)
  • The Web (Alex Delaware, #10)

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