Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Deception (Alex Delaware, #25)Deception by Jonathan Kellerman
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

"Deception" continues my Kellerman mini-marathon (brainless entertainment for the holidays). In terms of the premise, plot, and literary value the novel is weaker than "Twisted", which I finished two days ago. Still, it is a relatively good read, interesting and more twisted than "Twisted".

A teacher from a super-exclusive prep school in Los Angeles is found dead, along with a DVD in which she accuses three fellow teachers of sexual harassment. The police chief's son is about to graduate from the school and the chief want Lt. Sturgis to work the case with utter discretion so that the junior's chances of being admitted to Yale are not jeopardized.

There is some good stuff in the book, for instance the sharp insights about personnel politics of police departments and utter amorality of the top guys. The chief's hypocritical and self-serving monologues are priceless. The idiocy of SAT-driven "education" is exposed as well as the misguided and backfiring efforts to achieve diversity. The very ending of the novel is surprisingly nice. My favorite is the bit where Myspace is searched before Facebook. No wonder, Myspace had so much better user interface so it was doomed to fail.

Unfortunately, bad stuff dominates. Good Doctor Delaware's smugness is a given. Dialogues between Alex and Milo fill about half of the book. Horrid. Milo's buying "word on the street" from a homeless person is painfully ridiculous. Implausibility of the premise and some bad writing (interviews with students on campus) are atypical for Mr. Kellerman.

One more Kellerman to go in 2013 and then let's hope for real literature in the New Year.

Two and a quarter stars.

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