Mental Help Net
Basic InformationMore InformationLatest NewsQuestions and AnswersBlog EntriesVideosLinksBook Reviews
Maximizing Effectiveness in Dynamic Psychotherapy Self-Compassion in Psychotherapy101 Healing Stories101 Things I Wish I'd Known When I Started Using HypnosisA Primer for Beginning PsychotherapyA Therapist's Guide to Understanding Common Medical ProblemsACT With LoveAlready FreeAssessment and Treatment of Childhood Problems, Second EditionBad TherapyBecoming MyselfBefore ForgivingBeing a Brain-Wise TherapistBiofeedback for the BrainBody PsychotherapyBody SenseBoundaries and Boundary Violations in PsychoanalysisBrain Change TherapyBreaking ApartBuffy the Vampire Slayer and PhilosophyBuilding on BionCare of the PsycheChoosing an Online TherapistClinical Handbook of Psychological DisordersClinical Intuition in PsychotherapyClinical Pearls of WisdomCo-Creating ChangeCompassion and Healing in Medicine and SocietyConfessions of a Former ChildConfidential RelationshipsConfidentiality and Mental HealthConfidingContemplative Psychotherapy EssentialsCouch FictionCounseling with Choice TheoryCritical Issues in PsychotherapyCrucial Choices, Crucial ChangesDecoding the Ethics CodeDepression 101Depression in ContextDo-It-Yourself Eye Movement Techniques for Emotional HealingDoing CBTDoing ItE-TherapyEncountering the Sacred in PsychotherapyEnergy Psychology InteractiveEssays on Philosophical CounselingEthics in Psychotherapy and CounselingEveryday Mind ReadingExercise-Based Interventions for Mental IllnessExistential PsychotherapyExpressing EmotionFacing Human SufferingFairbairn's Object Relations Theory in the Clinical SettingFamily TherapyFavorite Counseling and Therapy Homework AssignmentsFlourishingFlying ColorsGod & TherapyHandbook of Clinical Psychopharmacology for TherapistsHandbook of Counseling and Psychotherapy with Lesbian, Gay, and Bisexual ClientsHealing the Heart and Mind with MindfulnessHealing the Soul in the Age of the BrainHeinz KohutHow and Why Are Some Therapists Better Than Others?How People ChangeHow to Give Her Absolute PleasureHow to Go to TherapyIf Only I Had KnownIn SessionIn Therapy We TrustIn Treatment: Season 1Incorporating Spirituality in Counseling and PsychotherapyIs Long-Term Therapy Unethical?Issues in Philosophical CounselingIt’s Your HourLearning from Our MistakesLetters to a Young TherapistLogotherapy and Existential AnalysisLove's ExecutionerMan's Search for MeaningMeditations on Self-Discipline and FailureMetaphoria: Metaphor and Guided Metaphor for Psychotherapy and HealingMindfulnessMindfulness and AcceptanceMindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy for DepressionMindworks: An Introduction to NLPMockingbird YearsMomma and the Meaning of LifeMotivational Interviewing: Preparing People For ChangeMulticulturalism and the Therapeutic ProcessOf Two MindsOn the CouchOne Nation Under TherapyOur Inner WorldOutsider Art and Art TherapyOvercoming Destructive Beliefs, Feelings, and BehaviorsPhilosophical CounselingPhilosophical MidwiferyPhilosophical PracticePhilosophy and PsychotherapyPhilosophy for Counselling and PsychotherapyPhilosophy PracticePhilosophy's Role in Counseling and PsychotherapyPlato, Not Prozac!Process-Based CBTPsychologists Defying the CrowdPsychology, Psychotherapy, Psychoanalysis, and the Politics of Human RelationshipsPsychosis in the FamilyPsychotherapyPsychotherapyPsychotherapy As PraxisPsychotherapy East and WestPsychotherapy for Children and AdolescentsPsychotherapy for Personality DisordersRational Emotive Behavior TherapyRational Emotive Behavior TherapyRationality and the Pursuit of HappinessRecovery OptionsRent Two Films and Let's Talk in the MorningSaving the Modern SoulSecond-order Change in PsychotherapySelf MattersSelf-Compassion in PsychotherapySelf-Determination Theory in the ClinicSexual Orientation and Psychodynamic PsychotherapyStrangers to OurselvesTaking America Off DrugsTales of PsychotherapyThe Art of HypnosisThe Case Formulation Approach to Cognitive-Behavior TherapyThe Compassionate ConnectionThe Crucible of ExperienceThe Education of Mrs. BemisThe Fall Of An IconThe Gift of TherapyThe Great Psychotherapy Debate: The Evidence for What Makes Psychotherapy Work The Husbands and Wives ClubThe Love CureThe Making of a TherapistThe Mummy at the Dining Room TableThe Neuroscience of PsychotherapyThe Neuroscience of Psychotherapy: Healing the Social BrainThe New PsychoanalysisThe Philosopher's Autobiography The Portable CoachThe Portable Ethicist for Mental Health Professionals The Present Moment in Psychotherapy and Everyday LifeThe Problem with Cognitive Behavioural TherapyThe Psychodynamics of Gender and Gender RoleThe Psychotherapy Documentation PrimerThe Real World Guide to Psychotherapy PracticeThe Schopenhauer CureThe Talking CureThe Therapeutic "Aha!"The Therapist's Guide to Psychopharmacology, Revised EditionThe Therapist's Ultimate Solution BookThe UnsayableThe Wing of MadnessTheory and Practice of Brief TherapyTherapyTheraScribe 4.0Thinking about ThinkingThriveToward a Psychology of AwakeningTracking Mental Health OutcomesTreating Attachment DisordersWhat the Buddha FeltWhat Works for Whom? Second EditionWhy Psychoanalysis?Yoga Therapy
Therapist Search
Find a Therapist:
 (USA/CAN only)

Use our Advanced Search to locate a therapist outside of North America.

Related Topics

Psychological Testing
Mental Disorders
Mental Health Professions
Treatments & Interventions

by Jonathan Kellerman
Random House Audio, 2004
Review by Christian Perring, Ph.D. on Jun 4th 2004


As someone who is fascinated by clinical psychology and who also loves a good murder mystery, you might have thought that I would be a great fan of the novels of Jonathan Kellerman.  Kellerman's novels are distinctive in bringing in a psychologist's perspective to the work of police detectives and his best-known character, Alex Delaware, is himself a psychologist.  However, the truth is that in the past I have not been able to make it more than a few pages into a Kellerman detective novel.  It is hard to pin down exactly why his writing didn't grab me but it didn't.  Listening to the audio version of Therapy was much easier, although I still would not rate Kellerman as a great detective writer.  Listening to a book takes less determination than reading it, and even when your attention starts to waver, the words keep on coming anyway. 

Delaware is an anemic and uninspiring lead character, and in fact it is detective Milo Sturgis who keeps the plot alive.  At the start of the novel, Milo and Alex are eating dinner at an LA restaurant, and as Kellerman describes what they ate, you begin to wonder whether you will make it past the first tape.  But then we get a description of Milo, the large gay cop with acne scars and jowls with a winningly gruff attitude.  The murder of a young couple in a car parked in the driveway of an empty house on Mullholland Drive.  Both have shots to the head, and the girl has some kind of spear thrust right through her chest pinning her to the seat.  It looks as if the couple must have been making out when they were interrupted and murdered, since she is topless and he has his shirt undone and his fly open.  Soon Milo and Alex notify the boy's mother about his death, and she is devastated.  They learn that Gavin Quick was in a terrible car crash less than a year before, and that he suffered some brain damage as a result.  For much of the rest of the novel, Milo and Alex try to work out whether there is some connection between that accident and the murder.  Their job is made more difficult because the murdered girl carried no identification and they are unable to discover who she was. 

Eventually they make progress, as they look into the various therapists who Gavin Quick saw after his accident and learn more about his family.  Alex chauffeurs Milo around the city in their investigation, and through their conversations they start to formulate a theory.  Along the way, they meet a host of interesting and memorable characters, none of whom seem very trustworthy.  The therapists are very reluctant to say anything about their clients, citing client-therapist confidentiality.  But the detectives start to discover the truth and find the sordid details behind the facades of respectability as well as the sorry lives that so many people lead.  Briefly, the story takes on a more political turn, but soon gets back to its core of intrigue. 

The best detective novels give some insight into the workings of society and have you guessing whodunit at the same time.  Kellerman doesn't have a great ability to write conversation; it is a little plodding, especially in those between Alex and his new girlfriend Alison, who is also a psychologist.  It's always a relief when the story returns to Milo and the scurrilous suspects.  While Kellerman has nothing much to say about contemporary America, there's enough psychology and minor social commentary to make the book a little thought-provoking.  Ultimately, the book is pretty formulaic, but it makes good summer reading. 


© 2004 Christian Perring. All rights reserved.


Christian Perring, Ph.D., is Academic Chair of the Arts & Humanities Division and Chair of the Philosophy Department at Dowling College, Long Island. He is also editor of Metapsychology Online Review.  His main research is on philosophical issues in medicine, psychiatry and psychology.

Follow us on Twitter!

Find us on Facebook!

This website is certified by Health On the Net Foundation. Click to verify.This site complies with the HONcode standard for trustworthy health information:
verify here.

Powered by CenterSite.Net