Pros: None, really.
Cons: This is NOT Alex Delaware.
Deception by Jonathan Kellerman... what a disaster!
Yet another book in the Alex Delaware series, Deception just doesn't have the charm some of the earlier novels held. I think the problem is that while Alex is in this novel, he might as well have had a different name and been a stranger. Because the "old" Alex was missing.
The main draw of this series is that Alex, a psychologist, would get dragged into criminal investigations for the sole purpose of adding his unique expertise, and providing a psychological basis for events that took place. His knowledge of the human psyche would help the police narrow their suspect list, and, ultimately, solve the crimes.
But in Deception, Alex is just another person helping to solve a murder. He uses absolutely none of his unique knowledge. The fact that he's a psychologist would go completely over the reader's head, if this were the reader's first experience with this character.
The plot is fairly lame: A teacher is found murdered. Nearby is a DVD that she'd made - a video in which she claims she's been the victim of abuse for the past year. The perpetrators of this abuse: her co-workers at the Prep school where she teaches. Detective Milo Sturgis is called to the case, and he asks Alex to lend him a hand. But they are hampered. The school would rather sweep this whole mess under a rug, than expose a problem in their midst. Even the Police Chief would like to keep the investigation hushed. Why? Because his son attends the school, naturally. So Milo and Alex fight obstacles, and more bodies pile up, before we find out exactly what was going on at the school, and why the teacher was killed.
Ho-hum. That's my reaction to the plot. Deception really was quite lame. And it was made worse by having the worst characters imaginable. Each one is nothing more than a walking stereotype. The teachers at the school use nothing but SAT-vocabulary words when they speak. The parents wear blinders, caring only that their little genius receive the highest grades so they can move on to Mommy or Daddy's alma mater. The students at the school are all rebellious teenagers, resentful of their parents' expectations. And on and on. Not an original thought went into any of these characters.
Finally, when all is revealed, I yawned. The story starts out lame and ends the same way. Jonathan Kellerman phoned in Deception, and I will be in no rush to read the next one.
Flesh and Blood