+612 9045 4394
$7.95 Delivery per order to Australia and New Zealand
100% Australian owned
Over a hundred thousand in-stock titles ready to ship
Bones : Alex Delaware Series : Book 23 - Jonathan Kellerman


Alex Delaware Series : Book 23

Paperback Published: 24th February 2009
ISBN: 9780345495174
Number Of Pages: 448

Share This Book:


This title is not in stock at the Booktopia Warehouse and needs to be ordered from our supplier.
Click here to read more about delivery expectations.

Earn 37 Qantas Points
on this Book

When it comes to writing deftly layered, tightly coiled novels of suspense, #1 New York Times bestselling author Jonathan Kellerman reigns supreme as "master of the psychological thriller" (People). Now, Kellerman has worked his magic again in this chilling new masterpiece.

The anonymous caller has an ominous tone and an unnerving message about something "real dead . . . buried in your marsh." The eco-volunteer on the other end of the phone thinks it's a prank, but when a young woman's body turns up in L.A.'s Bird Marsh preserve no one's laughing. And when the bones of more victims surface, homicide detective Milo Sturgis realizes the city's under siege to an insidious killer. Milo's first move: calling in psychologist Alex Delaware.

The murdered women are prostitutes-except the most recent victim; a brilliant young musician from the East Coast, employed by a wealthy family to tutor a musical prodigy,...

About the Author

Child psychologist-turned-novelist Jonathan Kellerman uses his knowledge of the psyche's weaknesses to create chilling crime novels, many starring detective (and former child psychologist, natch) Alex Delaware and cop friend Milo Sturgis.

Industry Reviews

COMPULSION "A genuine page-turner . . . The comfortable banter that has helped make Delaware and Sturgis such durable crime-story heroes is as rapid-fire, keen, and wryly funny as ever, and the mystery they aim to solve is certainly not routine." -Booklist


"Jonathan Kellerman's novels are an obsession; once started it is hard to quit." -Orlando Sentinel

"The characters are rich, the story's well-plotted and you won't stop reading." -Boston Herald


"The denouement accelerates to breathtaking, heart-pounding speed." -Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

"Sharply written and well-paced." -Entertainment Weekly


"[An] adrenaline-fueled read." -People

From the Hardcover edition.

Chapter 1

Everyone does it is not a defense!


If everyone did it, that made it normal, right? And after Chance did the research he knew he did nothing wrong.

Googling high school cheating because writing an essay was part of the punishment.

Finding out four out of five high school students—that’s eighty frickin’ percent—did it.

Majority rules. Just like that thing on his Social Action study sheet...social norms.

Social norms are the cement that holds societies together.

There you go, he was being a big help to society!

When he tried to joke about that with the parental units, they didn’t laugh.

Same as when he told them it was civil rights, no way could the school force him to do community service outside the school property. That was against the Constitution. Time to call the ACLU.

That got Dad’s eyes all squinty. Chance turned to Mom but she made sure not to give him any eye contact.

“The ACLU?” Big wet Dad throat clear, like after too many cigars. “Because we make a significant monetary contribution to the ACLU?” Starting to breathe hard. “Every goddamn year. That’s what you’re saying?”

Chance didn’t answer.

“Cute, extremely cute. That’s your point? Well let me tell you something: You cheated. Period. That is not the kind of thing the ACLU gives half a shit about.”

“Language, Steve—” Mom broke in.

“Don’t start, Susan. We’ve got a goddamn fucking serious problem here and I seem to be the only one who fucking gets it.”

Mom got all tight- mouthed, started plucking at her nails. Turned her back on both of them and did something with dishes on the kitchen counter.

“It’s his problem, Susan, not ours and unless he owns up to it, we can kiss Occidental—or any other halfway decent college—fucking good- bye.”

Chance said, “I’ll own up to it, Dad.” Working on what Sarabeth called his Mr. Sincere look.

Laughing as she undid her bra. Everyone buys Mr. Sincere but me, Chancy. I know it’s Mr. Bogus.

Dad stared at him.

“Hey,” said Chance, “at least give me credit for hand-eye coordination.”

Dad let out a stream of curses and stomped out of the kitchen.

Mom said, “He’ll get over it,” but she left, too.

Chance waited to make sure neither of them was coming back before he smiled.

Feeling good because his hand-eye had been cool.

Setting his Razr on vibrate and positioning it perfectly in a side pocket of his loosest cargo pants, the phone resting on a bunch of shit he’d stuffed in there to make kind of a little table.

Sarabeth three rows up, texting him the answers to the test. Chance being cool about it, knowing he’d never get caught because Shapiro was a nearsighted loser who stayed at his desk and missed everything.

Who’d figure Barclay would come in to tell Shapiro something, look clear to the back of the room, and spot Chance peeking into his pocket?

The whole class doing the same exact thing, everyone’s pockets vibing. Everyone cracking up the moment the test started because Shapiro was such a clueless loser, the whole semester had been like this, the asshole would’ve missed Paris Hilton walking in nude and spreading.

Everyone does it is not a defense!

Rumley looking down his big nose and talking all sad like at a funeral. What Chance wanted to say was, Then it frickin’ should be, dude.

Instead, he sat in Rumley’s office, squeezed between his parents, his head all down, trying to look all sorry and thinking about the shape of Sarabeth’s ass in her thong while Rumley went on forever about honor and ethics and the history of Windward Prep and how if the school so chose they had the option of informing the Occidental admissions office and causing dire consequences for his college career.

That made Mom burst into tears.

Dad just sat there, looking angry at the world, didn’t make a move to even give her a tissue from the box on Rumley’s desk so Rumley had to do it, standing up and handing it to Mom and looking pissed at Dad for making him stretch.

Rumley sat back down and moved his mouth some more.

Chance pretended to listen, Mom sniffled, Dad looked ready to hit someone. When Rumley finally finished, Dad started talking about the family’s “contributions to Windward,” mentioning Chance’s performance on the basketball team, bringing up his own time on the football team.

In the end the adults reached an agreement and wore small, satisfied smiles. Chance felt like a puppet but he made sure he looked all serious, being happy would be a ba- ad move.

Punishment 1: He’d have to take another version of the test— Shapiro would make one up.

Punishment 2: No more cell phone at school.

“Maybe this unfortunate event will have positive ramifications, young man,” said Rumley. “We’ve been thinking about a schoolwide ban.”

There you go, thought Chance. I did you guys a favor, not only shouldn’t you punish me, you should be payin’ me, like some sort of consulting deal.

So far, so good, for a second Chance thought he’d got off real easy. Then:

Punishment 3: The essay. Chance hated to write, usually Sarabeth did his essays, but she couldn’t do this one because he had to do it at school, in Rumley’s office.

Still, no big deal.

Then came Punishment 4. “Because substantive accountability has to be part of the package, Master Brandt.”

Mom and Dad agreeing. The three of them going all al- Qaida on him.

Chance pretended to agree.

Yes, sir, I need to pay my debt and I will do so with industrious alacrity.

Throwing in some SAT vocab words. Dad staring at him, like who are you kidding, dude, but Mom and Rumley looked really impressed.

Rumley moved his mouth.

Community service. Oh, shit.

And here the frick he was.

Sitting in the Save the Marsh office on night eleven of his thirty- night sentence. Shitty little puke- colored room with pictures of ducks and bugs, whatever, on the wall. One dirty window looking out to a parking lot where no one but him and Duboff parked. Stacks of bumper stickers in the corner he was supposed to hand out to anyone who walked in.

No one walked in and Duboff left him by himself so he could run off to investigate how global warming got up a duck’s butt, what made birds hurl, did bugs have big dicks, whatever.

Thirty frickin’ nights of this, nuking his summer vacation.

Five to ten p.m., instead of hanging after school with Sarabeth and his friends, all because of a social norm four out of five people did.

When the phone did ring, he mostly ignored it. When he did answer, it was always some loser wanting directions to the marsh.

Go on the frickin’ website or use MapQuest, Rainman!

He wasn’t allowed to make outgoing calls but since yesterday he’d started to hook up with Sarabeth for cell phone sex. She was loving him even more for not ratting her to Rumley.

He sat there. Drank from his can of Jolt, now warm. Felt the Baggie in his pants pocket and thought Later.

Nineteen more nights of supermax confinement, he was starting to feel like one of those Aryan Brotherhood dudes.

Two and a half more frickin’ weeks until he was free at last, doing his Luther King thing. He checked his TAG Heuer. Nine twenty- four. Thirty- six minutes and he’d be good to go.

The phone rang.

He ignored it.

It kept going, ten times.

He let it die a natural death.

A minute later, it rang again and he figured maybe he should answer it, what if it was Rumley testing him?

Clearing his throat and getting Mr. Sincere ready, he picked up. “Save the Marsh.”

Silence on the other end made him smile.

One of his friends pranking him, probably Ethan. Or Ben or Jared.

“Dude,” he said. “What’s up?”

A weird kind of hissy voice said, “Up?” Weird laughter. “Something’s down. As in buried in your marsh.”

“Okay, dude—”

“Shut up and listen.”

Being talked to like that made Chance’s face go all hot, like when he was ready to sneak a flagrant in on some loser on the opposing team, then get all innocent when the dude wailed about being nut- jammed.

He said, “Fuck off, dude.”

The hissy voice said, “East side of the marsh. Look and you’ll find it.”

“Like I give a—”

“Dead,” said Hissy. “Something real real dead.” Laughter. “Dude.”

Hanging up before Chance could tell him to shove dead up his...

A voice from the door said, “Hey, man, how’s it shaking?”

Chance’s face was still hot, but he put on Mr. Sincere and looked over.

There in the doorway was Duboff, wearing his Save the Marsh T- shirt, geek shorts showing too much skinny white thigh, plastic sandals, that stupid gray beard.

“Hey, Mr. Duboff,” said Chance.

“Hey, man.” Duboff gave a clenched- fist salute. “Did you have a chance to check out the herons before you got here?”

“Not yet, sir.”

“They’re incredible animals, man. Magnificent. Wingspread like this.” Unfolding scrawny arms to the max.

You’ve obviously mistaken me for someone who gives half a shit.

Duboff came closer, smelling gross, that organic deodorant he’d tried to convince Chance to use. “Like pterodactyls, man. Master fishers.”

Chance had thought a heron was a fish until Duboff told him different.

Duboff edged near the desk, showed those gross teeth of his. “Rich folk in Beverly Hills don’t like when the herons swoop in during hatching season and eat their rich- folk koi. Koi are aberrations. Mutations, people messing with brown carp, screwing up the DNA to get those colors. Herons are Nature, brilliant predators. They feed their young and restore nature to true balance. Screw those Beverly Hillbillies, huh?”

Chance smiled.

Maybe it wasn’t a big enough smile because Duboff suddenly looked nervous. “You don’t live there, do I recall correctly?”

“No, sir.”

“You live in...”


“Brentwood,” said Duboff, as if trying to figure out what that meant. “Your parents don’t keep koi, do they?”

“Nope. We don’t even have a dog.”

“Good for you guys,” said Duboff, patting Chance’s shoulder. “It’s all servitude. Pets, I mean. The whole concept is like slavery.”

Keeping his hand on the shoulder. Was the guy a fag?

“Yeah,” said Chance, inching away.

Duboff scratched his knee. Frowned and rubbed a pink bump. “Stopped by the marsh to check for trash. Musta got bit by something.”

“Providing food for the little guys,” said Chance. “That’s a good thing, sir.”

Duboff stared at him, trying to figure out if Chance was messing with his head.

Chance brought out Mr. Sincere and Duboff decided Chance was being righteous and smiled. “Guess you’re right...anyway, I just thought I’d stop in, see how you’re doing before your shift ends.”

“I’m fine, sir.”

“Okay, check you out later, man.”

Chance said, “Uh, sir, it’s kinda close to the end.”

Duboff smiled. “So it is. At ten, you can lock up. I’ll be by later.” Walking to the door, he stopped, looked back. “It’s a noble thing you’re doing, Chance. Whatever the circumstances.”

“Absolutely, sir.”

“Call me Sil.”

“You got it, Sil.”

Duboff said, “Anything I should know about?”

“Like what, sir?”

“Calls, messages?”

Chance grinned, flashing perfect white chompers, courtesy five years of Dr. Wasserman.

“Nothing, Sil,” he said, with utter confidence.

ISBN: 9780345495174
ISBN-10: 0345495179
Series: Alex Delaware
Audience: General
Format: Paperback
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 448
Published: 24th February 2009
Publisher: Random House USA Inc
Country of Publication: US
Dimensions (cm): 19.05 x 10.8  x 3.18
Weight (kg): 0.25

Earn 37 Qantas Points
on this Book

Jonathan Kellerman

About the Author

Jonathan Kellerman was born in New York City in 1949 and grew up in Los Angeles. He helped work his way through UCLA as an editorial cartoonist, columnist, editor and freelance musician. As a senior, at the age of 22, he won a Samuel Goldwyn Writing Award for fiction.

Like his fictional protagonist, Alex Delaware, Jonathan received at Ph.D. in psychology at the age of 24, with a specialty in the treatment of children. He served internships in clinical psychology and pediatric psychology at Childrens Hospital of Los Angeles and was a post-doctoral HEW Fellow in Psychology and Human Development at CHLA.

IN 1975, Jonathan was asked by the hospital to conduct research into the psychological effects of extreme isolation (plastic bubble units) on children with cancer, and to coordinate care for these kids and their families. The success of that venture led to the establishment, in 1977 of the Psychosocial Program, Division of Oncology, the first comprehensive approach to the emotional aspects of pediatric cancer anywhere in the world. Jonathan was asked to be founding director and, along with his team, published extensively in the area of behavioral medicine. Decades later, the program, under the tutelage of one of Jonathan's former students, continues to break ground.

Jonathan's first published book was a medical text, PSYCHOLOGICAL ASPECTS OF CHILDHOOD CANCER, 1980. One year later, came a book for parents, HELPING THE FEARFUL CHILD.

In 1985, Jonathan's first novel, WHEN THE BOUGH BREAKS, was published to enormous critical and commercial success and became a New York Times bestseller. BOUGH was also produced as a t.v. movie and won the Edgar Allan Poe and Anthony Boucher Awards for Best First Novel. Since then, Jonathan has published a best-selling crime novel every year, and occasionally, two a year. In addition, he has written and illustrated two books for children and a nonfiction volume on childhood violence, SAVAGE SPAWN (1999.) Though no longer active as a psychotherapist, he is a Clinical Professor of Pediatrics and Psychology at University of Southern California Keck School of Medicine.

Jonathan is married to bestselling novelist Faye Kellerman and they have four children.

Visit Jonathan Kellerman's Booktopia Author Page

This product is categorised by