DR. DEATH by Jonathan Kellerman (see his website)
Random House, 2000
When someone kills "Dr. Death," a self-styled assisted-suicide doctor named Eldon Mate, the expertise of psychologist Alex Delaware is once again called in by L.A. detective Milo Sturgis. The investigation into the bloody death, wherein Mate was hooked up to his own machine, then artistically carved, quickly gets complicated when a prime suspect, the husband of one of Mate's suicide victims, turns out to be the father of Alex's patient.
Suspects abound, including Mate's long-estranged wife, a son he despised, and a serial killer who might want to take over "Dr. Death's" job. Each suspect seems so plausible that the reader must change his mind again and again about who probably dunnit--and this reader, at least, was way wrong. Engrossing reading, with details of the investigation realistically described, lots of lush description that puts the reader into the realms of psychological trauma Kellerman is so known for. Particularly interesting is how Alex handles potential conflicts of interest, trying to uphold his own personal ethics while keeping his friendship with Milo.
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