Review: Heartbreak Hotel by Jonathan Kellerman

Title: Heartbreak Hotel by Jonathan Kellerman
Alex Delaware Series Book 32
Publisher: Ballantine Books
Genre: Contemporary, Mystery
Length: 368 pages
Book Rating: B+

Complimentary Review Copy Provided by Publisher Through NetGalley


Alex Delaware and LAPD detective Milo Sturgis investigate the death of Alex’s most mysterious patient to date in the sensational new thriller from the master of suspense, #1 New York Times bestselling author Jonathan Kellerman.

At nearly one hundred years old, Thalia Mars is a far cry from the patients that child psychologist Alex Delaware normally treats. But the charming, witty woman convinces Alex to meet with her in a suite at the Aventura, a luxury hotel with a checkered history.

What Thalia wants from Alex are answers to unsettling questions—about guilt, patterns of criminal behavior, victim selection. When Alex asks the reason for her morbid fascination, Thalia promises to tell all during their next session. But when he shows up the following morning, he is met with silence: Thalia is dead in her room.

When questions arise about how Thalia perished, Alex and homicide detective Milo Sturgis must peel back the layers of a fascinating but elusive woman’s life and embark on one of the most baffling investigations either of them has ever experienced. For Thalia Mars is a victim like no other, an enigma who harbored nearly a century of secrets and whose life and death draw those around her into a vortex of violence.

Heartbreak Hotel is classic Delaware and classic Kellerman.


Heartbreak Hotel by Jonathan Kellerman  is the latest fast-paced and engrossing addition to the Alex Delaware series.

A child psychologist and part-time consultant to the LAPD, Dr. Alex Delaware’s newest client is a surprisingly well-liked woman about to celebrate her 100th birthday.  Alex is intrigued and charmed by his first meeting with Thalia Mars, but he has no idea exactly what direction their sessions are going to take.  Unfortunately, he never gets the chance to find out what his client hoped to gain from talking to him since she is murdered before their second appointment.  Alex and his friend, LAPD homicide detective, Lt. Milo Sturgis, team up once again to solve the case and their search for answers takes a very interesting  turn when Alex begins poking around in Thalia’s past.

By all accounts, Thalia is well-loved by everyone she knows. She has lived at the Aventura Hotel for most of her life and while her bungalow is a getting a little shabby, she is still paying a pretty hefty chunk of change in monthly rent.  When Alex begins trying to find out more about Thalia’s past, he quickly realizes there are a few incongruent details about the former CPA and long retired county assessor.  Thalia’s lawyer, Ricki Sylvester fills in a few of the blanks about her former client’s life but Alex is still very curious about how Thalia acquired her surprising wealth.  Once he figures out her unexpected ties to gangsters and a long ago jewel heist,  Alex and Milo’s investigation takes yet another compelling turn.  But the one piece of the puzzle they are having a difficult time finding is the link between those long ago events and Thalia’s murder nearly seventy years later.

With a cleverly plotted and very fascinating storyline, Heartbreak Hotel is a spellbinding installment in the Alex Delaware series.   The age of Delaware’s latest client makes the premise of this latest release very unique as does the discovery of Thalia’s ties to a decades old robbery and her surprising link to the mob.  The investigation never lags as Alex and Milo leave no stone unturned during their search for Thalia’s killer.  Veteran author Jonathan Kellerman has penned another solid police procedural that readers of the genre are going to love.

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1 Comment

Filed under Alex Delaware Series, Ballantine Books, Contemporary, Heartbreak Hotel, Jonathan Kellerman, Mystery, Rated B+, Review

One Response to Review: Heartbreak Hotel by Jonathan Kellerman

  1. Timitra

    Thanks Kathy for the review