The Clinic: An Alex Delaware Novel
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NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER
Professor Hope Devane’s male-bashing pop-psych bestseller created a storm of controversy on the talk-show circuit. Now she is dead, brutally slashed on a quiet street in one of L.A.’s safest neighborhoods. The LAPD’s investigation has gone cold, and homicide detective Milo Sturgis turns to his friend Dr. Alex Delaware for a psychological profile of the victim—and a portrait of a killer.
“Engrossing . . . mines new realms of psychological terror . . . holds the reader riveted.”—Playboy
Hope Devane had very different public and private faces. The killer could be any one of the millions who read her book, or someone from the personal life she kept so carefully separate. As Alex and Milo dig deeper into her shadowy past, they will set an elaborate trap for her killer . . . and reveal the unspeakable act that triggered a dark chain of violence.
this. Milo had phoned the EMTs first. “Priorities. It’s not like there’s any emergency to the rest of it.” “The rest of it” was an assortment of brown bones that had once been a baby’s skeleton, scattered on an old blanket. Not a random toss, the general shape was of a tiny, disarticulated human body. Open sutures in the skull and a couple of dental eruptions in the mandible made my guess four to six months, but my Ph.D.’s in the wrong science for that kind of prophesy. The smallest
walked away. When I’d taken three steps, he said, “I mean, he’s not here at all.” “Not in class or not in school?” “Both. He dropped out a month ago. I’m quite miffed—more than miffed. Our acting program is extremely selective and we expect our students to finish no matter what the reason.” “What was his reason?” He turned his back on me and headed back to the swinging doors. Placing one hand on blond wood, he gave a pitying smile. “He got a job.” “What kind of job?” Long, deep breath.
but could he have held on to the anger? Why not, the case was cold and Milo had asked me to “hypothesize away.” I wrote down Neese’s name and reached for the homicide file. Words, pictures. Always pictures … It was close to five when I called Milo at West L.A. Detectives and told him I’d finished everything, including the book. “That was fast.” “Easy read, she had a good style. Conversational. As if she’s sitting in your living room, sharing her knowledge.” “What’d you think of the
“And here.” Standing, she arched her back, baring the umbilicus. “Uh. Uh,” she grunted, pressing both sites and showing them again in an awkward bump-and-grind. “Hurt like shit. Farting all day!” “Cramps,” said Boatwright. “When did you find out Dr. Cruvic had done more than an abortion?” “Later.” “How much later?” Shrug. “Who told you?” “Mom.” “What’d she say?” ““Go ahead, screw all you want, it don’t matter, we fix you, tire the tubes no bastas!’” Mascara running, the eyes alive with
Barone’s an expert on building paper walls and all we have against Cruvic so far is suspicion, no grounds for a warrant.” “Did you ask Barnaby about dope because you think there might be a dope angle?” “I asked him because he’s still a user—did you see all that sweat, those eyes? I meant what I said about bad guys.” “Hope and cocaine? No evidence she ever used.” “No evidence on Hope, period.” “Casey Locking might be able to provide some,” I said. “He has some connection to Cruvic. I keep