A Book Spy Review: ‘Night Moves’ by Jonathan Kellerman

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Night Moves.jpgAfter encountering one of the most gruesome murders of his career, LAPD Lieutenant Milo Sturgis turns to L.A. psychologist Alex Delaware for help with his investigation. 

Chet Corvin, his wife, and their two kids decide to go out for dinner one night. Upon returning to their home, located in an upscale subdivision, they are horrified to find a dead stranger in their basement.

The man is unrecognizable. Someone shot him at close range with a shotgun, nearly decapitating him. What was left of him from the shoulders up isn’t much, and certainly not enough for any hopes of facial recognition. Fingerprinting is out, too, because the killer also cut off the man’s hands. And while those things make sense from a criminal standpoint, because the body is now nearly impossible to identify, Sturgis is perplexed by the fact that the killer dumped the corpse in someone’s basement. That makes no sense, and Sturgis makes that the starting point of his investigation. 

To help provide some answers, Sturgis calls his longtime friend and colleague, Alex Delaware, to the scene. 

Right away, Alex begins noticing things that nobody else seemed to pick up on. By looking at things from a psychological aspect, he keys in on details that might not otherwise matter — like the fact that the Corvins live in a cul-de-sac and not an ordinary neighborhood. Does it matter? Who knows. But as he picks apart the scene, Chet Corvin, a senior vice president in a reinsurance firm, tells Sturgis that his neighbor, Trevor Britt, is a weird guy and the only one he can think of who might be capable of such a gruesome act. 

It turns out that Britt is a famous comic book artist, who is best known for creating violent, disturbing images. Alex wants to talk with him and get inside his head, and Sturgis wants to talk with him because for the moment, he’s the only lead. Instead, neither of them get their wish because Britt refuses to speak to police, throwing a wrench into their investigation. 

What little evidence they have to go on seems to point to Britt, but some startling facts about the Corvins slowly come to light as well. While trying to make sense of things, another murder takes place — indicating the Corvin’s basement wasn’t a random dumping spot for the first victim, but a carefully chosen area that most certainly means something. 

As their case slowly begins to unravel, Alex and Sturgis race to figure out what message the killer is sending so they can stop them before they strike again. . .  

Now thirty-three novels in, longtime readers know what to expect from Jonathan Kellerman, who continues to churn out smart, complex whodunnits. Alex Delaware and Milo Sturgis remain one of the most dynamic buddy/cop duos in the business, and Kellerman balances the dark and heavy stuff with their lighthearted back-and-forth, sometimes quirky dialogue. 

Jonathan Kellerman does it again. . . Night Moves is a satisfying crime thriller that’ll have even veteran readers of this genre fooled until the very end. 

Book Details

Author: Jonathan Kellerman
Series: Alex Delaware #3
Pages: 416 (Hardcover)
ISBN: 0345541464
Publisher: Ballantine Books
Release Date: February 13, 2018
Book Spy Rating: 8.0/10

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Praised as “one of today’s finest book reviewers” by New York Times bestselling author Gayle Lynds, Ryan Steck is the editor-in-chief of The Real Book Spy, and one of the thriller genre’s most well-recognized critics. He currently lives in southwest Michigan with his wife and their five children. For more information, make sure to follow him on Twitter and Facebook

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