Review of Serpentine by Jonathan Kellerman (coming Feb 2, 2021)

A smooth as silk mystery that kept me reading late into the night…

I am not fond of psychological thrillers.   And so, having read somewhere that Jonathan Kellerman’s main character in his main series is a psychologist, Alex Delaware, I just sort of wrote the series off, assuming that these were psychological thrillers.   And you know what they say about when you assume something – although if I actually say it, some of the e-book retailers probably won’t publish my review!    But, wow, was I wrong…

I am going to be forever grateful that I was offered an advance review copy of Kellerman’s coming title, Serpentine, because what I found when I read it was not a psychological thriller, but a very very nice police procedural where Delaware and his best buddy, LAPD homicide Lieutenant Milo Sturgis, end up investigating a really cold case.    They start pretty much from zilch on the thirty-six year old homicide, and we get to follow along as they dig up some first faint clues, track down people who can add to their tiny store of information, utilize Milo’s contacts to get records and information, do a lot of legwork (harder than it sounds in the Los Angeles sprawl, although they do have Milo’s police parking placard !!!) and utilize Alex’s own contacts and psychologist’s mindset as they theorize about what might have happened.  Along the way they start seeing what appears to be a pattern (no details here, to avoid spoilers), and eventually they reach a pretty stunning conclusion about the case.   And, bonus for me, the case is set in Los Angeles, and mostly in a part of Los Angeles I’m familiar with, since I went to the same “U”, so I had fun with the characters and locales associated with that.  

All I can say is that this was a great read, and I’m happy to have discovered this series on only its 36th title (sarcasm intended).    My sole complaint is that now I’ve just added the 35 previous titles to my “to be read” list in one fell swoop – sigh!   I don’t give five-star ratings to many books, maybe one in thirty or forty that I read, but Serpentine gets one.   It pulled me in from the start, read as smooth as silk, and kept me guessing as I read it late into the night – and then was zonked the next day at work.   And now I’m headed to the first title in the series to start reading from the beginning.  

My thanks again to Random House/Ballantine Books and NetGalley for the ARC.

Buy: Amazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon Canada | Kobo US | Kobo UK | Kobo Canada 

18 thoughts on “Review of Serpentine by Jonathan Kellerman (coming Feb 2, 2021)”

  1. Now on sale in the UK for £2.99. The UK links in the OP are still good. As a recently published book, this probably won’t go on sale in the US for a few more months. For some reason, frontlist books go on sale faster in the UK than in the US, but usually not for very long. So grab this now if you want it!

  2. Serpentine is (finally) on sale in the US for $3.99. It’s been sitting at $14.99 since it was published (with one brief excursion to $6.99), so this is a welcome price drop. It’s part of the Kindle Daily Deal (and matched at Kobo), though, so it may not be on sale for very long. So grab it if you want it. It’s also CAD$3.99 in Canada, and £2.99 in the UK right now. The links in the OP are all still good.

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