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Survival of the Fittest (1997)

de Jonathan Kellerman

Sèrie: Alex Delaware (12)

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1,679137,887 (3.56)20
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First a young policeman kills himself in a diner and Alex is asked to talk to the young man's sister. Then Milo gets handed a cold case - a disabled Israeli teenager had been killed. Both cases do not seem to have anything in common - except knowing how Kellerman tends to build his novels, a reader of the series knows that the stories will connect.

But before that happens, another teenager dies - and before long it seems like a very unusual serial killer had been praying on the disabled of the city. The book is written in 1997 and its language shows it - the term retarded is almost impossible to be heard now while back then that was the preferred term, clinically and otherwise.

And Alex and Milo are off trying to find out who is killing some of the most vulnerable people in LA. Before long they get unexpected help - the now retired Gene and his Israeli friend Detective David Shadravi (both from "The Butcher's Theater" - there are also a lot of spoilers and an update about some of the people in Israel so if you had not read this one yet and plan to, you may want to do that before you continue with the current book), the young Petra Connor (who is about to get her own series which will often weave through the main series) and a few more experienced detectives; even Rick and Robin get bigger roles than usual. And Milo mentions Decker - Faye Kellerman's series detective thus making it clear that the two series exist in the same LA.

It should be an overcrowded book but it is not - everyone fits and everyone seems to contribute in a way that noone can.

When the truth start emerging, it appears to be almost unbelievable. And yet - humans can be cruel and that's exactly what happens here. The very end keeps you reading - just when you think that everything is sorted out and all remaining is to catch the bad guy, things get complicated - not everyone had been dealing honestly and that leads to Alex getting in real trouble.

Despite the dated language, it is a good addition to the series. It won't be for everyone - it is as bloody and gory as most of the books in the series but if one likes the series, it should work. ( )
  AnnieMod | Aug 2, 2021 |
De vijftienjarige Irit Carmeli wordt koelbloedig tijdens ten schoolreisje in de berger van Santa Monica vermoord. Rechercheur Milo Sturgis staat voor een raadsel en roept de hulp in van Alex Delaware, de kinderpsycholoog. Al snel wordt de zaak een van de grimmigste in de carrière van Alex Delaware. De moord op Irit, dochter van de Israëlische consul, staat niet op zichzelf. Er worden meer slachtoffers gevonden. Ogenschijnlijk hebben ze niets met elkaar te maken, ehalve dat ze allemaal gehandicapt waren...
  Lin456 | Oct 20, 2020 |
While I do enjoy Jonathan Kellerman's writing as he presents the usual mystery story from a unique perspective and found this one particularly intriguing. Kellerman has a tendency to have interesting twists and conclusions. In this instance he gave subtle clues regarding the closing of the story. Even with his clues when it came down to it felt he wrapped it up in a very interesting manner that made me wonder how he was going to pull it off; which he did with some tension and drama. Can't say it wasn't a little overdone but while it was, there was also a believable element to it, considering the characters involved.

The story itself was typical Jonathan Kellerman and included the expected psychological elements with all the minor subplots his novels generally contain. Overall I found it a little more entertaining than other of his books. ( )
  can44okie | Aug 28, 2020 |
A competent page-turner of a mystery, easy enough to follow though I see it comes several books into a series. It's showing its age a little but its themes remain regrettably current, with the action kicked off with what these days I'd describe as a hate crime.

While the narrative is fiercely anti-eugenics, I was uncomfortable with the repeated use (by sympathetic characters) of a word that's most commonly used as an ableist slur on this side of the Atlantic. It was clearly intended as a mere descriptor, but it marred the reading experience for me.
  KathleenJowitt | May 2, 2020 |
Kellerman's Alex Delaware and Milo Sturgis are at it again. The book begins with the suicide of a Los Angeles policeman, and the murder of the retarded daughter of an Israeli diplomat. Things get really interesting when other handicapped people are found dead, and an old murder seems to have a similar MO. Alex puts himself in harm's way in an attempt to ferret out the truth and the pages turn quickly as the suspense mounts. I admit I'm not likely to remember the plot of this book in 6 months time, but it was a perfect read for a stormy Sunday. ( )
  LeslieHurd | Jan 11, 2017 |
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To my parents, David and Sylvia Kellerman
Special thanks to Detectives Paul Bishop and Vic Pietrantoni, and to Dr. David J. Smith
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