Saturday, May 20, 2017

The Conspiracy Club by Jonathan Kellerman

When Dr. Jeremy Carrier is befriended by Dr. Arthur Chess, it seems a normal course of events.  Both are doctors at the same hospital.  Jeremy is a psychologist and Chess is a pathologist.  They share a love of reading and soon start to have discussions about life and philosophy.  Carrier is reeling from the kidnapping and murder of his girlfriend a few months before and isn't really letting anyone into his circle, but he is intrigued by Dr. Chess.

That intrigue deepens when Chess invites him out to dinner one night.  They go to an exquisite dining club where all the other participants at the dinner are older people who have been very successful in their lives.  The talk once again turns to philosophy; specifically, the origin of evil and how it should be handled.

Soon afterward, Dr. Chess leaves on an extended vacation.  Jeremy starts to get postcards from him from all over the world.  At the same time, he gets strange interoffice mail.  These mailing start to lead him in the direction of a series of murders, always women and always murdered with surgical precision.  The final mailing outlines the case of a murderer who was caught decades ago but whose crimes seem to be related.  Can Jeremy solve the case before his new girlfriend is affected?

Fans of Jonathan Kellerman will be interested to read this stand-alone novel that does not focus on his main protagonist, Alex Delaware.  Both main characters are in the medical field and use their experience and skills in psychology to delve into the motivations of criminals.  The mystery unfolds at a slow pace and there is an unexpected twist at the end.  This book is recommended for mystery readers.

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