Gone: An Alex Delaware Novel
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Missing acting students Dylan and Michaela are found in the remote mountains of Malibu, battered and terrified after a harrowing ordeal at the hands of a sadistic abductor. But forensic evidence soon exposes the incident as a hoax, and the kids are charged as criminals themselves.
“Kellerman shows why he is called the ‘master of the psychological thriller.’”—Orlando Sentinel
After examining Michaela, psychologist Alex Delaware is certain that there’s more to this sordid psychodrama, and his instincts prove dead-on when she is savagely murdered. Casting their dragnet into the murkiest corners of L.A., Delaware and homicide cop Milo Sturgis unearth more questions than answers—and a host of eerily identical killings. What bizarre and brutal epidemic is infecting the city with terror, madness, and sudden, twisted death?
silent gullies on the land side of Pacific Coast Highway, hiked the oak-bearded crests that peaked above the ocean. I remembered Latigo Canyon as corkscrew roads and snakes and red-tailed hawks. Though it took a while to get above civilization, the reward was worth the effort: a wonderful, warm nothingness. If I’d been curious enough, I could’ve called Milo, maybe learned more about the abduction. I was busy with three custody cases, two of them involving film-biz parents, the third starring a
and Clyde in fancy wheels cutting town because they’ve been doing bad things.” “Don’t know,” I said. “People who attend Nora’s school keep disappearing, but now that we know Peaty’s got wheels he’s got to remain center focus.” “A van. Your basic psycho meat wagon. And soon he’s gonna be unemployed. If Sean’s yanked off surveillance and that bastard sneaks away, I’m further back than when I started.” He folded his arms across his chest. “I screwed up by telling Brad about Peaty’s van.” “Peaty
doubt to that extent. Learn anything new about the stolen cell phone?” He flipped the attaché case open, got his notepad. “Motorola V551, Cingular wireless account, registered to Ms. Angeline Wasserman, Bundy Drive, Brentwood. Interior designer, married to an investment banker. The phone was in her purse when it got stolen the day of the call—nine hours before. Ms. Wasserman was shopping, got distracted, turned her head, and poof. Her big concern was the whole identity theft thing. The purse,
two people working as a team. Either way, the caller stuck around in Camarillo, so how about checking over there?” I pointed across Ventura to a mass of other eateries. “Sure, why not.” We made it through six restaurants before he said, “Enough. Maybe the absentminded Ms. Wasserman will recognize someone.” “You didn’t show any shots of Billy Dowd.” “Couldn’t come up with any,” he said. “Didn’t figure it mattered ’cause I don’t see Billy making his way out here by himself.” “Even if he
man came shuffling out, wearing a saggy white cardigan over a brown knit shirt, pink-striped seersucker pants, and the same house slippers with wolves’ heads on the toes. His sneer was virtuoso. “The prodigal policeman arrives. What does it take to motivate you people?” “There’ve been some problems with the phones,” I said. He cackled with the joy of omniscience, cleared his throat four times, hacked up something wet and swallowed it. “My tax dollars put to good use.” “What did you call