When the Bough Breaks: An Alex Delaware Novel Audible Audiobook – Unabridged
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In the first Alex Delaware novel, Dr. Morton Handler practiced a strange brand of psychiatry. Among his specialties were fraud, extortion, and sexual manipulation. Handler paid for his sins when he was brutally murdered in his luxurious Pacific Palisades apartment. The police have no leads, but they do have one possible witness: seven-year-old Melody Quinn.
It's psychologist Dr. Alex Delaware's job to try to unlock the terrible secret buried in Melody's memory. But as the sinister shadows in the girl's mind begin to take shape, Alex discovers that the mystery touches a shocking incident in his own past.
This connection is only the beginning, a single link in a 40-year-old conspiracy. And behind it lies an unspeakable evil that Alex Delaware must expose before it claims another innocent victim: Melody Quinn.
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|Listening Length||12 hours and 47 minutes|
|Whispersync for Voice||Ready|
|Audible.com Release Date||June 05, 2012|
|Publisher||Random House Audio|
|Best Sellers Rank|| #19,919 in Audible Books & Originals (See Top 100 in Audible Books & Originals) |
#14 in Medical & Forensic Thrillers
#43 in Medical Fiction (Audible Books & Originals)
#119 in Medical Thrillers (Books)
Top reviews from the United States
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Alex Delaware is a young retired psychologist. Alex decided that he wanted to enjoy life while he could at a young age. (Can’t blame him) Alex worked with several clinics and hospitals and specialized in child psychology. Alex is thoroughly enjoying retirement.
Milo Sturgis is a San Franciso police detective who inherits a case where a man and a woman are murdered in an apartment complex. A little girl has supposedly witnessed the murders from her mother’s apartment. The only complication is that she does not know if she saw two men or one man and a shadow.
Milo calls on Alex for help on the case. Maybe he can hypnotize the girl and force the hidden memories to the surface.
The girl already has a psychologist, Dr. Morton Handler. Alex meets Dr, Handler and realizes that he is a narcissistic pill pusher, a sexual manipulator, and is not beyond fraud and extortion. Dr. Handler is a disgrace to his profession.
Alex stumbles across a connection that leads him to a home for mentally fragile youths of various problems. Is this just a cover for sexual predators who prefer children?
Alex follows the thread and so does Milo. Alex uncovers a forbidden secret cover-up that has remained buried for 30 years.
I believe that readers into police procedurals and crime thrillers alike will be very pleased reading this book. I am glad that I read When the Bough Breaks. But now I have about 37 other Kellerman books that I may need to read. This one hits 4-stars for me.
The good news is that I enjoyed the book. It'd be rather unfortunate if I had quite a few books In the series and ended up hating the first one. As someone who, obviously, enjoys mysteries and thrillers but is also a psychology nerd, this series appears to be a wonderful blend of those two interests. For those unfamiliar with the Alex Delaware series - Alex was a child psychologist. After being retired for a few, he becomes a consultant to the police.
All of this was great and intriguing. What I wasn't expecting was just how graphic and vulgar some of the language was - especially since this novel deals with sexual abuse of children - another thing I was not prepared for. I usually keep my reviews as spoiler-free as possible. But, I feel like that needed to be mentioned. Because it was rough.
There are also some things about the writing that make it obvious this series was started in the 80's. It's not specific to the 80's, per se, but some of the racial words and phrases used to describe people are now very out of date. I had to keep reminding myself that this was written decades ago as I was reading it. I can only hope that as the series goes along, the vocabulary becomes more modern.
Sidenote - as a member of the LGBTQIA+ community, I absolutely love that Milos is gay. That warmed my little heart.
4/5 Stars. I've already started the 2nd book, and I look forward to seeing how the series progresses.
Memorable Quote: “It was shaping up as a beautiful morning. The last thing I wanted to hear about was murder.”
In the beginning the reader learns about the early years of Doctor Delaware, a driven man of achievement, compulsive and a burnout at thirty three who retires financially set after investing wisely in real estate. Unfortunately he finds himself sinking into boredom and depression when a LAPD detective named Milo Sturgis contacts him about the murder of a doctor and his girlfriend, the only witness being a seven year old girl who may remember what she thought she saw in the dark of night.
Alex is hooked and comes out of his funk engrossing himself in the mystery despite Milos warning to back off when the young girl cannot recall anything. Despite this Alex takes on his own investigation into what leads to a horrible tale of pedophilia at the highest levels of society at a ranch in Malibu for troubled children. We also meet Robin, his girlfriend who abhors his getting involved in the case and to me is a very dislikable character from the start and this carries through the series for this reader.
The author has written a very complex first novel that has many facets and I found it fascinating despite being hard to read at times because of the horrors of the subject matter at hand. This is a great book that sets the foundation for who Alex is and just may be one of the best despite being a debut entry in a very long running series. This old guy plans of going on to book two which I am sure I have also read but will not remember!
Top reviews from other countries
In 1985 Jonathan Kellerman introduced Dr Alex Delaware to the public. Delaware is a psychologist who specialises in issues involving children. At the age of 33 he retires to follow a life of leisure having built a nice nest egg through his occupation. In fact Dr Delaware is just getting started in life as he is persuaded to assist a local detective, Milo Sturgis, with a homicide that may have been witnessed by a young child.
A doctor and his partner have been brutally murdered. The police have little to go on apart from a young child who just may have witnessed the violent event. Delaware is persuaded to interview the young girl and in the process unlocks a Pandora's Box that threatens to consume him.
Using his past experiences Delaware is able to identify leads that the police may not have discovered. His enquiries uncover a conspiracy and cover-up that goes back over thirty years. These revelations ignite within Delaware a desire to seek justice for victims and close down a criminal activity that has consumed many victims over the years.
Jonathan Kellerman's first book featuring Dr Alex Delaware sets the scene for a series that thirty-two years later now has over thirty books to its name. As someone who has read many of those titles it was good to finally read the first in the series. In addition to being a good story in its own right it also filled in many of the spaces future tales mentioned but did not explain further.
An excellent book and I am now tempted to work my way through the series in full.
I love Alex Delaware books. Kellerman does a fantastic job of creating suspense and enabling the reader to imagine the gruesome scenes, as well as building the tension throughout.
This story is frighteningly real and that is what makes it all the more terrifying. The characters are well developed and the secrets run deep. I scares me to think of just how easy one person can manipulate a situation to justify their actions. Not just that, but the depravity these characters show is horrifying. Then, just when you think there are no more surprises... BOOM!
What follows is a twisted ride down a dark street into the depths of evil.
Alex uncovers a conspiracy going back decades and helps save a life by bringing the bad guys to light.
Thoughtful and well written characters and plotlines are beautifully woven into an amazing story.