The woman had haunted eyes.
Pale, drooping at the outer edges, they stared into the unseen camera with an odd combination of defiance and defeat. She didn’t move. Neither did the camera. The wall behind her was brown-blue, the color of an old bruise. The couch on which she perched was gray. She was a pretty woman, made less so by fear. Her shoulders were bunched high, her neck tendons taut as bridge cables. A black, sleeveless dress showcased soft white arms. Too-blond hair fell limply to her shoulders.
Moments passed. Nothing happened. In another situation I might’ve cracked wise about it being one of Andy Warhol’s old anti-films: interminable, static studies of the Empire State Building, a man sleeping.
When a homicide lieutenant brings you something to watch, you keep your mouth shut.
Milo stood behind me. His black hair and raincoat were rumpled. The coat was cheap, green, wrinkled past the point of salvation. It gave off a not unpleasant vegetative odor. He’d placed a massive breakfast burrito in a take-out box on my desk, hadn’t touched it.
When he drops in, he usually beelines for the fridge, empties a
quart of something, raids the shelves for bad carbs. This morning,
he’d marched to my office, loaded the DVD with a flourish.
“For your consideration.”
Blanche, my little French bulldog, sat next to me, uncharacteristically serious. She’d tried her usual smile, had figured out something was different when Milo didn’t stoop to pet her.
I rubbed her knobby head. She looked up at me, returned her
attention to the monitor.
The woman’s lips moved.
Milo said, “Here we go.”
More silence on the screen.
“So I lied.”
The woman said, “My name is Elise Freeman. I’m a teacher
and tutor at Windsor Preparatory Academy in Brentwood.” Her
voice was throaty. She knotted her fingers, flopped them onto her
lap. “I’m making this recording to document sustained abuse I
have received at the hands of faculty members at Windsor Preparatory
Academy in Brentwood. Which I will hereon refer to as Prep.”
Deep breath. “For the past two years at Prep, I have been subjected to repeated, unwarranted, aggressive, and distressing sexual
harassment from three individuals. Their names are.” Her right
hand rose. A finger pointed upward. “Enrico Hauer. H- A- U- E- R.”
Two fingers: “James Winterthorn.” More slow, enunciated spelling,
then a trio of digits. “Pat Skaggs.”
From the Book DECEPTION: An Alex Delaware Novel by Jonathan Kellerman. Copyright © 2010 by Jonathan Kellerman. Reprinted by arrangement with Ballantine Books, an imprint of the Random House Publishing Group, a division of Random House, Inc. New York. All rights reserved.
A master storyteller, #1 New York Times bestselling author Jonathan Kellerman takes a bold leap into uncharted territory with Deception, his 25th and most compelling Alex Delaware thriller to date.
A DVD found next to the dead body of Elise Freeman chronicles the monstrous abuse she suffered at the hands of three tormentors. In itself, the story is shocking. But the fact that the offenders, like their victim, are teachers at one of L.A.’s most prestigious prep schools is enough to send detective Milo Sturgis seeking psychological insight—and moral support—from his friend, Dr. Alex Delaware.
It’s hard to imagine that allegations of rape, assault and possibly murder would be allowed to sully the reputation of Windsor Prep Academy, an institution renowned for molding Ivy League-bound children of the rich and famous. So it comes as no surprise when the scandal-conscious elite closes ranks. That doesn’t mean Alex and Milo won’t do all it takes to expose the dirty secrets festering among society’s manor-born. Then again, maybe they shouldn’t. In searching for predators among the privileged, Alex and Milo could wind up walking into a highly polished death trap with no way out.
Hardcover Book : 352 pages
Publisher: Ballantine Books Inc./Random House ( March 30, 2010 )
Item #: 12-943545
Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 8.25 x 0.84inches
Product Weight: 13.0 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
I so love these two 'investigators' together! Took me two nights to finish it - one of those books you are dying to finish to see how it ends and yet reluctant to finish it because you're so enjoying reading it! When I finished, I gave it to my hubby and he said the same thing ... he finished it in just a couple of nights ... because he couldn't put it down. I did, however, miss the little snippets we normally get with Milo and Alex's significant others that remind us they're not just investigators ... they're family men with lives outside of the heavy stuff. Am SO waiting for the next book!
Reviewer: S.m. C
One of the better recent Alex and Milo books. Very fast read.
I purchased this because of the overall good reviews and it seemed to fit my likes(Coben,Patterson,Gross etc.)
Easily the worst book I've ever tried to read. I gave it three chances to catch me, to no avail. Will never even consider this author again. What a waste of time!!
Always a good read by this author. I thought the book was great!
Probably the worst book by Jonathan Kellerman that I have read. Boring! Skip this one.