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Culture and Arts

Culture Watch


In this issue:


Laura Haywood continues her mystery reviews by concentrating on a book by one of her favorite authors, Jonathan Kellerman: Flesh and Blood

And Consider This:

Seabiscuit, a terrific book for all who love horses and racing, is an entertaining and rewarding read for those with no interest in the animals or the sport. Albelardo Morell's a book of books provides a kind of eye candy for the book lover. Three CDs that caught our eye (and ear) were those by Diana Krall, Renee Fleming and Andrea Bocelli.





Flesh and Blood by Jonathan Kellerman.
A Ballantine Book. 437 pages.

Jonathan Kellerman is one of my favorite authors. Most of his books feature child psychologist Alex Delaware, who is conveniently comfortable financially and does occasional consulting for the Los Angeles Police Department. Since Kellerman himself holds degrees in child psychology and was in practice before achieving success as a writer, he writes with authenticity.

In Flesh and Blood, his most recent novel available in paperback, the focus is on Lauren Teague, one of Delaware's failures. He had seen her twice — after a history-gathering session with her parents — when she was fifteen; neither session had been productive. She kept inquiring how much long she had to stay. There was no third session: the appointment was cancelled.

Several years later, Delaware is a reluctant guest at a raunchy bachelor party. The live entertainment is two strippers and Delaware is horrified to recognize one as Lauren. She recognizes him, too, and the next day makes an appointment to see him. Again, the appointment leads to nothing.

Four years later, he gets a call from Lauren's mother. She says Lauren has been missing for a week and she's frantic. Delaware calls the cop he regularly works with, Milo Sturgis, but Sturgis isn't too hopeful about an investigation. But that changes when Lauren's murdered body turns up in an alley.

Delaware and Sturgis begin peeling back the layers of Lauren's life. On the surface, she had turned her life around. She was an honors student in college, majoring in psychology, she had an independent income from investments, and she had a part-time research job.

But other bodies turn up or fail to; there is a subplot about another missing student at the college and nothing is quite what it seems with Lauren. The investigation leads to a psychologist doing market research and to a Hugh Hefner-type of magazine publisher.

Kellerman has a gift for bringing his characters to life and writes plots that keep you up hours after you meant to go to bed. Your best bet is to start reading early in the morning on a day off.

Reviews of Seabiscuit, a book of books and three romantic cds>>

Laura's fiction and poetry has won a number of prizes and has appeared in The New York Times ("Metropolitan Diary"), Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine, Galaxy, Isaac Asimov's Science Fiction Magazine, and a number of other magazines and anthologies. She edited or co-edited (with Isaac Asimov) two science fiction and one mystery anthology. Laura is the author of the recently published novel "The Honor of the Ken."

Laura can be reached by email:

©2003 Laura Haywood for SeniorWomenWeb
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