Saturday, November 29, 2008

Slumming in Fiction

At one point, I got a little tired of Jonathan Kellerman's Alex Delaware novels and traded all my paperback copies to Amy (my car book source) for all her Faye Kellerman paperbacks. I won't say I regret the trade now, but I have continued to read the Alex Delaware series (when I find one at the library), and it's gotten better, after the doldrums that set in when Alex and Robin split up for a while. I still get tired of hearing all about the French bulldog, but at least the carp of many colors have receded into the background of the crime story. The newest one is entitled Bones, and it lives up to the creepiness of the image.

Nobody does it better, in terms of creating a chillingly creepy plot. Bones ends up with a killer whose humanity has been, somehow or other (and Jonathan--a former clinical psychologist--usually gives the details) largely erased. His latest killer
"cuts herself. Supposedly."
"She cuts and starves herself, grew up with an impaired mother, had aspirations she couldn't achieve. That could lead to a seriously distorted body image and emotional numbness. Sometimes people like that need extreme stimulation."
"Feel no pain, feel no mercy, either?"

Since Alex and Milo always catch the killer and order is restored, the reader's descent into madness is short-lived and safe, like going slumming for an evening, but getting home intact.

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