Tuesday, August 23, 2011
Bones is one of Kellerman’s better efforts in recent years. It’s definitely not one of his best (check out “The Butcher’s
Theater” and “The Conspiracy Club”), but it’s an improvement over “Compulsion” and “Obsession.”
In “Bones,” Delaware is wittier and more energetic and seems to have a renewed passion to solve the case at hand, which has a lot of tentacles.
A young woman’s body is discovered at the Bird Marsh nature conservancy near Marina Del Rey in California. Los Angeles homicide detective Milo Sturgis, a mainstay in the Delaware stories, investigates, and he soon uncovers a horrible scene. More female bodies are found — they’re all prostitutes. A serial killer is apparently on the loose. Sturgis calls in Delaware for assistance.
At this point, it looks like a paint-by-numbers mystery. But the most recent victim is a talented young musician from the East Coast. Her name is Selena Bass, and she had been employed by a wealthy family, the Vanders, to tutor a musical prodigy.
This strange twist puzzles Delaware and Sturgis, and the two launch a wide-ranging, bumpy investigation that leads them to all corners of L.A. They first discover that the Vanders are nowhere to be found, and the Vanders’ estate manager, Travis Huck, seems to be a little suspicious.
“His sad, crooked mouth straightened into a position of neutrality, at odds with the tension around his eyes,” writes Kellerman, describing Huck during the duo’s questioning. They soon realize he has a criminal background.
Sturgis, playing the starring role for once in a Kellerman novel, and Delaware don’t settle for the obvious, however, and unearth more startling details about the marsh deaths.
Not surprisingly, there are some surprises in the investigation, which leads them down a path with some combative characters and a brooding sense of violence.
I enjoyed the storyline and the mystery was intriguing, but it was a little muddled in the middle. I would recommend this book.