Title: Serpentine (Alex Delaware #36)
Author: Johnathan Kellerman
Published on: 2nd Feb 2021
Genre: Mystery and Thriller
LAPD homicide lieutenant Milo Sturgis and Psychologist Alex Delaware open a cold case. A rich young woman, Ellie Barker, is obsessed with finding the reason behind her mother’s death. She believes her mother’s accident was staged. Ellie’s fame takes her to the right people who might help her – strings are pulled and Milo is assigned to the case.
Milo is a little furious that a cold-case that might have no leads is assigned to him. Moreover, his boss wants updates. Regularly. Uff! As Milo and Alex start to investigate, talk to the former police officers assigned to the case, they see a pattern.
Serpentine is the 36th book in Alex Delaware series. I hadn’t come across this series before and having read this book, I must say I am hoping to catch up with the series in the future. I really liked the pair – Milo (the detective) and Alex (the psych).
As is the issue with any cold case, finding the witnesses and re-interviewing the suspects is a pain. Milo manages to get in touch with the police officers who handled the case – two of them are dead while the third is living a dream of his life (he’s now a realtor). The previous detectives on this case had reached a dead end. Does this mean the case will remain unsolved in Milo’s books too?
The first half of the story was slow paced. We have the duo looking for a needle in a haystack – where does one find a clue when there isn’t any evidence suggesting murder? The second half of the story is where they come across a piece of information that turns the case upside down. Then it is only the matter of gathering evidence and catching the perp red-handed… wait, didn’t I say this was a cold case? So, that means, no catching the perp red-handed… Um!
The suspense is well-maintained throughout the story. Since I haven’t read the previous books, I cannot comment much on the main characters of the series. However, I can tell you about the characters spotlighted in this story – Ellie Barker, her mother, other suspects and witnesses. As the story ends, we do get to see a new side of Ellie – the poor thing has gone through a lot and finally gets some closure. Coming to the identity of the perp – unexpected and surprising. The reason for murder was… well, here’s a hint: we have Alex (the psych) in tow…
Serpentine by Johnathan Kellerman was an engrossing and riveting mystery. The storytelling is excellent and the characters are well portrayed. If you like mysteries featuring sleuthing duo (one detective and the other, not), you might want to give this book a try. You wouldn’t be disappointed, that’s for sure.
I received an ARC from NetGalley and Random House UK in exchange for an honest and unbiased opinion.