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    Review of A COLD HEART by Jonathan Kellerman (see his website)

    Ballantine, May 2003

    When an has-been blues artist is murdered in Los Angeles, the police don't have much to go on--until psychologist Alex Delaware notices a connection to other deaths. Could someone really be killing artists who are on the verge of success? With his long-time partner Milo, police detective Petra Connor, and Petra's new and possibly psychotic partner Eric Stahl, Alex starts looking for clues to a possible serial killer. Psychological profiling serves to narrow the suspect list, but can they act quickly enough to prevent the killer from striking again?

    Author Jonathan Kellerman (see more reviews of novels by Kellerman) has delivered a series of wonderful police/psychologist novels featuring Milo and Alex in the past, but A COLD HEART is not the best of these. The early novels in this series deal extensively with child abuse--a crime that cannot help to tug hard on any reader's emotions. Although a serial killer has the potential for similarly powerful emotional impact, Kellerman doesn't quite milk the material. Many readers may also find the killer's identity a little easy to guess, and the action-packed conclusion to be telegraphed a little too obviously.

    Being far from the best in this series does not mean that A COLD HEART isn't worth reading. Kellerman is a strong writer who involves the reader, delivers smooth and fascinating insights into humanity, and can be counted on for a clever plot twist.

    Two Stars

    Reviewed 5/08/03

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