Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Flesh And Blood by Jonathan Kellerman

Dr. Alex Delaware remembers her.  She was one of his failures.  Lauren was a sullen teenager, forced into seeing him as a therapist by her parents.  She was totally uninterested in what he had to offer, coming late to appointments, leaving early and just quitting after a few sessions.  Underneath the attitude, Delaware sensed real issues that he'd have liked to help her explore but sometimes therapy is like that.

He saw Lauren one more time.  Having gone to a bachelor party, he was shocked to see her as part of the entertainment, dancing nearly nude for the jeering men greedily watching.  She showed up at his house a few days later, insisting on paying him in cash and bragging about how well she was doing.

Now Lauren has disappeared.  Her mother comes to Alex, asking him if he can help find her.  In the intervening years, Lauren seems to have matured.  She is going to college and working on a psychology degree.  Then one day she goes out the door, telling her roommate she would return shortly and never comes home.

As Alex and his friend on the police, Milo Sturgis, investigate, more questions than answers appear.  Lauren has significant investments and is paying for school herself.  Where did the money come from and does it have anything to do with her disappearance?  Is her disappearance linked to that of another beautiful blonde girl from the same university a year or so earlier?

This is the fifteenth Alex Delaware mystery.  Fans will be interested to read another of Alex's cases, although this one seems to have too many coincidences to hang together as well as others.  The interplay between Alex and Milo is always interesting; that between Alex and his long-time love, Robin, significantly less so.  This book is recommended for mystery readers.

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