12.11.19

THE MUSEUM OF DESIRE, by Johnathan Kellerman



Further adventures of Dr. Alex Delaware and LAPD Detective Milo Sturgis brings a level of strangeness I've not encountered before. A bizarre scene containing four bodies is discovered at an empty house sometimes rented for parties. It's kinky enough, "different" as Sturgis puts it, to warrant Delaware's full participation. Suspects and characters, some quite weird, abound as Delaware prowls the art world in search of clues both modern and ancient. The clues are sparse and obscure. Milo is his unflappable self, Delaware's prescience waits for one vital connection. When it comes, it's a doozy.
As always with Kellerman books, the writing is excellent, and the characters are human and compelling. Perhaps too used to Jack Reacher levels of gore, the grisly setting as described didn't seem to warrant the reactions from the pros. Sure, the body arrangement was repellent, but to make strong people pale? No.  As well, the winning clue is so far out in left field it felt contrived. The denouement was a disappointment to me. 
Overall, a good read but not up to usual standards.  It's a four, not my usual five.
Many thanks to the publisher, Random House, and to NetGalley for supplying this Advance Copy.

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