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Reviews for Unnatural history : an Alex Delaware novel

Copyright © Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

Once again, best friends Alex Delaware and Milo Sturgis tackle a strange murder together. A woman discovers her boyfriend, billionaire’s son Donny Klement, lying in bed with three bullet holes in his chest. Det. Milo Sturgis asks psychologist Alex Delaware to work with him for the psychological insights he can bring to this oddball murder. The vic was about to give a one-man show of his photography, a project he’d called the Wishers: He dressed up homeless people as the successes they wished they were, photographed them, paid them $500 each, and let them go back to their lives on the street. Donny had felt that homelessness created unnatural histories, and he wanted to show what his subjects’ lives might have been like if they'd been luckier. But how did the homeless people react to the whole experience? Did someone return to whack him? “The Wishers project itself—bringing strangers with troubled histories into his home—seemed potentially explosive,” Delaware muses. And the vic’s family is strange: Rich dad Viktor’s M.O. in life is to marry a beautiful woman, impregnate her, then leave her. He’s done it six times, creating a batch of loosely connected half siblings: “technically a family, but really a collection of strangers.” (Donny isn’t a nickname for Donald, by the way, but for Adonis.) More murders follow in this complicated and unusual plot, and the characters and clever lines make the story fun. Milo is a smart cop who believes that “stupidity is the fertile soil [he] farm[s],” and the big guy sure loves to eat. A woman backs away from him, “as if there was only so much space to go around and he’d just taken a second helping.” And Delaware doesn’t think much of his friend’s taste in ringtones: “As we waited, Milo’s phone played something that could have been extracted from Chopin’s nightmare.” Kellerman’s legion of fans will eat this up like his detective eats bear claws. Copyright © Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.