In this Delaware mystery, number 13, a mentally ill 'monster' is killing people Maybe Alex Delaware, my favorite fictional psychologist and amateur detective superhero, is called in when bodies are found horribly mutilated, obviously the work of a deranged killer Because Alex cares and has the time and credentials, he helps Milo Sturgis, one of my favorite fictional professional detectives, gain access to a hospital prison, where various types of mentally ill live The evidence shows that an inmate there is probably the murderer, but how did he do it? He has been locked up for decades Copycat? Or conspiracy? One thing is for sure There is a monster out there.This is not a book for the squeamish The killer is insane and he kills people with sadistic delight While author Jonathon Kellerman doesn't get graphic, he does describe injuries to men, women and a baby.If, gentle reader, you want to really have fun reading this macabre series, start with When the Bough Breaks.I’m getting my soapbox out, and now I am standing on it *Ahem.*Some decades ago there were all kinds of places for the mentally ill Tons of hospitals all rated with various degrees of lockup severity, like prisons Some were like expensive vacation spas, others were grim horrors where involuntary patients were chained and tormented much as criminals were in 19th century prisons Medical care began to becomehumane in the 1960's, newspapers printed exposes of what was occurring in the worst hospitals for the mentally ill, and free or lowcost public clinics opened up everywhere Then Ronald Reagan won the Presidential race in America He closed it all down all the public clinics and hospitals that had a mental health department, the good with the bad The promise he made was that his administration would support private enterprise in opening up new and better clinics and hospitals for the mentally ill Didn't happen Most of these folks who were released are sleeping under freeways and in alleys, pissing on the back doors of businesses In my large state, there are only two major state hospitals left, with the available beds cut back to half of what they used to have and the attendant nurses cut back even , even though the number of criminally violent mentally ill has grown, along with the ordinary gardenvariety mental patients On the other hand, our building of prisons has exploded It's estimated that 6080% of the prison population has serious mental illness I think I read that the United States has the largest prison population in the world Now, the soldiers from the two Iraq wars and the Afghan War who have mental illness from their service are being given the shaft in getting mental health treatment How much will you bet me that many of them will end living in the streets and prisons soon, if they aren't killing themselves in suicide? Yet, psychiatric drugs and types of treatment has never beenenlightened Why do we allow this? Is preventive mental treatmentexpensive than building thousands of prisons and housing people for decades after their mental problems, untreated, are allowed to explode? The answer is no But math has never been a strong point for the average taxpaying citizen. This is the second time I've read this book I picked it up at the ESL book sale and got to the second chapter before realizing I'd already read it However, since I didn't remember the ending, I decided to read it again and found it very enjoyablethat is if you like rather gory subject matter I always enjoy the Alex Delaware books He and Milo make a great pair of investigator I also like seeing what is happening in Alex's girlfriend, Robin, life If you haven't read any of them, try one, you might enjoy it. TheKellerman I read, theI become a fan.The first book I picked up by him took me two attempts to get into The second I seemed to enjoyThe third (this one) I loved Gripped from (almost) the beginning and left wanting to read “just onechapter” to uncover a bitof the story There isn’t really a big twist at the end, it’sthat answers unfold throughout the book, keeping the reader wanting . This is my first Jonathan Kellerman book He has been on my TBR list for some time but I was slow to get to him because I am reading so many other series I am in the midst of Andrew Vachss, Sara Paretsky, Loren Estleman, Michael Connolly, Scott Turow, Karin Slaughter, George Pelecanos and probably a fewthat I am not remembering right now.Monster is the thirteenth book in the twentyeight book Alex Delaware series that began in 1981 and is still ongoing I am starting in the middle with the first several books being hard to find Number thirteen just happens to be the first I have of the series Just by chance No special reasoning.Kellerman doesn’t waste any time getting to his first social issue, leaving both the right and the left to lick their festering wounds It was a strange time to build a new hospital State asylums for the retarded and the harmlessly psychotic were being closed down in rapid succession, courtesy of an odd, coldhearted alliance between rightwing misers who didn’t want to spend the money and leftwing ignoramuses who believed psychotics were political prisoners and deserved to be liberated A few later, a “homeless problem” would appear, shocking the deacons of thrift and the social engineers, but at the time, dismantling an entire inpatient system seemed a clever thing to do With Jonathan Kellerman you expect some psychiatric education via Alex Delaware, the narrator, and you get it, a lot of it.But take away the violence and you didn’t have serenity What remained were what psychiatrists labeled the negative symptoms of psychosis: apathy, flat mood, deadened voice, blunted movement, impoverished thinking, language stripped of nuance and humor An existence devoid of surprise and joy Sounds like a drugged life Or maybe it is better called an existence Plenty of theories from Alex based on his knowledge of psychology and psychiatry He already had twelve books under his belt.Excuse me if I bore you for a few minutes Remember this is my first date with Alex so everything is new to me You know how new relationships can be so exciting that way So the book starts out being about two kind of grisly murders One is a cold case and the other just happened The murders are described just enough so you get the grisly message but little detail beyond that They may or may not be related Milo and Alex scope things out There is a lot of talking and hardly any action They visit a psychiatric hospital full of murderers who are tamed by illness and medication Then they go to the home of the recently murdered woman The house is literally practically empty with an empty living room with uncarpeted hardwood floors and a bedroom with a dresser and a mattress and box spring on the floor Strange for a woman who makes a reasonable amount of money Lots of talking as they wander through the house Then Alex goes home and out to dinner with his wife and there is quite a bit of shop talk about the cases with the wife posing lots of possibilities that might explain what Alex has observed He has been hinting at romance and she promises him some action when they get home Can’t hardly contain yourself, can you? Well, the interesting thing is that I am reading another book simultaneously, Ship of Fools So the two books are stacked together on the coffee table Every time I sit down to read I pick up this Kellerman mystery So he must have grabbed my attentionthan Katherine Anne Porter has! Should I be embarrassed?Action happens finally The first action is a flashback of the killing spree of the title character of the book The second is a visit with this character in his room at the mental hospital for homicidal psychotics That action consists of the apparently futile attempt to communicate with the “Monster” and the action is in facial and body movements You will have to read it for yourself to see how this rates as action But just when I think that the action may go on for a while, the story goes back to talking to people, in person and on the phone I do find the numerous psychological tidbits interesting if not action packed This might be a friendly, informal Abnormal Psych 201 course if my “sieve for brain” could actually file away the bits for possible future use I am going to pay attention to see if Alex is so erudite in his personal conversations when he is not on the job I will watch to see how he talks with his wife in bed.Even Milo can get warn out by all the talking He massaged his temples “Okay, okay, enough talk, I need to do something I put in calls to Miami and Pimm, Nevada, this morning When we get back, I’ll see if anyone called Milo doesn’t want to spend so much time speculating with Alex and thinks of people calling him back as action That is the truth about this book at the beginning It is mostly talking and thinking Making a phone call is action! I don’t have much experience yet with mysteries so maybe they commonly start slowly with the author planting bulbs, building up details and clues, and then eventually it comes bursting into bloom You don’t run into too many characters named Milo So here we have a costar with that name I couldn’t stop thinking about “The Adventures of Milo and Otis,” the 1986 film that was turned into a book Was Milo the dog or the cat? Now there was a story with action from beginning to end as I recall.I am not allowed to tell you how this book ends There are definitely some events that got my adrenalin pumping and it ends with a bang And I guess it is fair to say that the hero lives to analyze another day You know that because you have the next book in the series waiting for you to read I am looking forward to readingof Jonathan Kellerman I am still trying to figure out how he is called a consultant when he follows the detective around like a shadow It is true he is offering theories pretty much nonstop but he gets his hands dirty too I wonder how he decides what is a billable hour? I am going to resist the temptation to give Monster five stars I have to read a fewAlex Delaware mysteries to decide if he really deserves that high praise Besides, I am still feeling guilty that I am reading mysteries instead of literature But giving it four stars is easy to do I am left with the inebriating question of how many celebratory singlemalt scotches Milo can put away in a mere four pages Maybe he heard that detectives in crime/mystery/thriller books are supposed to drink. My first Kellerman and not too impressed with the slow pace of the book Maybe the choice of the book was not great The plot starts with murders happening all over the city and it involves inmates of a psychiatric treatment asylum A patient is predicting the murders Alex Delaware is roped in along with Detective Milo Sturgis to investigate The investigation takes them on the trail of lunatics, healthcare workers, serial killers et al The premise is very promising but the climax peters out The drag in the plot does not help Maybe something did not click for me But will look out for another book by the author. Another super solid Alex Delaware novel, I’m really enjoying reading this huge series! Some pretty outdated language/terminology in this one, but it was published in the 90s so understandable. I believe this is the first Kellerman book I’ve read and I must admit I enjoyed it The topic mainly revolves around murders and psych patients Odd mumblings start to come out of a patient after a worker at the psych hospital is murdered The ending was good and there was a twist that I didn’t see coming Never would have thought that Crimmins was making death videos. Dr Alex Delaware muss den brutalen Mord an einer Gefängnispsychologin aufklären Die Ermittlungen führen ihn zur Arbeitsstätte des Opfers, wo ein gefährlicher Psychopath unter höchster Bewachung einsitzt: der mit Medikamenten voll gepumpte Ardis »Monster« Peake Dessen Stammeleien scheinen den Mord an der Psychologin prophezeit zu haben Für Delaware und Milo Sturgis vom Los Angeles Police Department ist dies nur eine von vielen rätselhaften Spuren Overall, this was a good story The plot is clever and interesting But I feel that the book itself could have used a good edit (or a different editor) First, the writing itself felt like Kellerman wasinterested in reaching a word count instead of telling his story I like descriptiveness as much as the next person, but it felt overboard much of the time Exacting descriptions of what a person is wearing or exactly what roads are being taken and buildings are being passed during a drive gets old and takes me out of the story I get it, he knows Los Angeles! The descriptions of his drives and arrivals at locations made me think of that SNL skit, The Californians Also, in one spot, the character of Alex is handing someone the same item TWICE in two paragraphs; something a close read should've caught It was this mistake and the overdescriptiveness that made me think that maybe this book didn't get the edit it deserved I am also not sure how I feel about the first person telling of the story I didn't hate it, but I felt maybe I would've feltconnected if I'd known what was going on in the head of his partner as well.All of that said, I don't regret reading it It's good idea/story with OK storytelling. Meh I usually like Jonathan Kellerman books but I had a hard time getting into this one I kept wanting it to endand then it did.