Thursday, December 31, 2009

An Open Letter to Jonathan Kellerman

Dear Jonathan,

Greetings!  You probably don't remember me, since we've never met, but I am one of your most loyal readers.  I love your Alex Delaware novels more than my luggage.  I stuck with you through everything you did to him-the fire, Robin leaving, you killing off his new lover, your occasional dalliances with other characters.  Actually, I really like your Petra O'Connor books and your new brotherly duo of Moe Reed and Aaron Fox, but every time you write a book about them you aren't writing a book about Alex.  The thing that makes him great is the fact that he can use his not inconsiderable psychiatric knowledge to really get into the minds of his killers.

So why, oh why, my dear Mr. Kellerman, didn't you have him DO anything in your latest Delaware novel, Evidence?  He's a psychiatrist after all, he needs a warped brain to work on.  Why would Milo Sturgis, your gruff detective, even have called him in on this murder?  Two people killed in the act of having sex-I guess you were trying to make the connection that they were posed, which they were, but not because of some deranged serial killer's ritual, as it turns out.  And really, we are supposed to believe that some furious family member of a murdered girl knew enough about the tribal customs of a small island near Indonesia to devise a revenge strategy based on burning down a house to trap someone's soul in limbo?  I'm sorry, and it hurts me to say this, but this obscure rationale is not enough to justify the amount of time that Alex spent just following Milo around listening in this book.  I love Milo, but it's Alex that I pay to read.

Given the new characters that you have created, who are rich and nuanced and who actually, oh, I don't know, DO something in their stories, maybe it's time for Dr. Delaware to retire.  As much as I would mourn the loss of my favorite literary psychiatric detective, it would be preferable to watching him devolve into a glorified sidekick for Milo Sturgis.  I beg you, Jonathan...if you can't think of more compelling storylines that involve Alex using his insight and intelligence to track down truly devious and manipulative criminals, then allow him and Robin to retire peacefully to some bucolic place and let the new generation of characters take center stage.

Your Loyal Reader,
Heather

1 comment:

  1. I stopped reading Jonathan Kellerman's books when he brought Robin back for the final and umpteenth time. Enough was enough for me. I can't stand her and Alex's devotion to her shows me a decided lack of character - at the very least. Obviously he is a glutton for punishment, but I don't want to witness it anymore.

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