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The doctors call it Munchausen by proxy, the terrifying disease that causes parents to induce illness in their own children. Now, in his most frightening case, Dr. Alex Delaware may have to prove that a child's own mother or father is making her sick. Twenty-one-month-old Cassie Jones is bright, energetic, the picture of health. Yet her parents rush her to the emergency ro The doctors call it Munchausen by proxy, the terrifying disease that causes parents to induce illness in their own children. Now, in his most frightening case, Dr. Alex Delaware may have to prove that a child's own mother or father is making her sick. Twenty-one-month-old Cassie Jones is bright, energetic, the picture of health. Yet her parents rush her to the emergency room night after night with medical symptoms no doctor can explain. Cassie's parents seem sympathetic and deeply concerned. Her favorite nurse is a model of devotion. Yet when child psychologist Alex Delaware is called in to investigate, instinct tells him that one of them may be a monster. Then a physician at the hospital is brutally murdered. A shadowy death is revealed. And Alex and his friend LAPD detective Milo Sturgis have only hours to uncover the link between these shocking events and the fate of an innocent child. From the Paperback edition.


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The doctors call it Munchausen by proxy, the terrifying disease that causes parents to induce illness in their own children. Now, in his most frightening case, Dr. Alex Delaware may have to prove that a child's own mother or father is making her sick. Twenty-one-month-old Cassie Jones is bright, energetic, the picture of health. Yet her parents rush her to the emergency ro The doctors call it Munchausen by proxy, the terrifying disease that causes parents to induce illness in their own children. Now, in his most frightening case, Dr. Alex Delaware may have to prove that a child's own mother or father is making her sick. Twenty-one-month-old Cassie Jones is bright, energetic, the picture of health. Yet her parents rush her to the emergency room night after night with medical symptoms no doctor can explain. Cassie's parents seem sympathetic and deeply concerned. Her favorite nurse is a model of devotion. Yet when child psychologist Alex Delaware is called in to investigate, instinct tells him that one of them may be a monster. Then a physician at the hospital is brutally murdered. A shadowy death is revealed. And Alex and his friend LAPD detective Milo Sturgis have only hours to uncover the link between these shocking events and the fate of an innocent child. From the Paperback edition.

30 review for Devil's Waltz

  1. 5 out of 5

    Erin *Proud Book Hoarder*

    One of my favorite earlier Alex Delaware mysteries. Alex is called in by someone else other than Milo this time - his past with the hospital has earned him an in with another mystery, this time at first investigating to protect a child rather than investigate an actual crime. Much of the plot is dedicated to preventing a potential horror rather than bringing justice to something already accomplished. Munchausen by proxy is a horrific mystery of psychological taboos, and it was a cerebral treat t One of my favorite earlier Alex Delaware mysteries. Alex is called in by someone else other than Milo this time - his past with the hospital has earned him an in with another mystery, this time at first investigating to protect a child rather than investigate an actual crime. Much of the plot is dedicated to preventing a potential horror rather than bringing justice to something already accomplished. Munchausen by proxy is a horrific mystery of psychological taboos, and it was a cerebral treat to read a thriller focused on the possibility of it. Throw in Kellerman's skill in creating layered characters who are as convincing in their dysfunctions as much as their innocence, and it gets even better. I stood on my toes wondering who was guilty, if anyone was, and unsure which side I should really be rooting for. On one hand, my mother's side was wanting to protect the child at all costs if there's any doubt, but on the other hand, nosy doctors who sometimes overreach grated my mother's security. It ended up with a treat that not only covered the unusual psychological ailment, but added twists to make it something even more unique. The resolution satisfied my uncertainty on who I should have been rooting for. I can't ruin the ending, but it worked with my doubts about characters I liked during the investigation. Devil's Waltz digs into the psychological and medical side of thrillers more than the police procedural, reversing the roles of the story - with Alex bringing in Milo after awhile instead of the other way around. I enjoyed this change of pace.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Lewis Weinstein

    too slow ... meandering ... 75 pages and no story yet ... I am a big fan of Kellerman but not this book

  3. 4 out of 5

    Matthew

    This novel made me embarrassed to call myself a writer.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Julie

    I am giving this book 1 star for Milo. I am also not going to read anymore of Kellerman's books. They just are not enjoyable reads for me.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Robin

    Phew! By the hair of my chinny-chin-chin I finished this in time for book group. Woo! And after hearing why E chose this book (because of her own personal experiences with a relative who suffers from Munchausen disorder, as well as the fact that she didn't realize it was in a series), I can even embrace her choice. I was pleased to find that, like book 6, this book featured a more tightly-woven plot than the earlier titles in the series. It really had a "whodunnit" feel to it, which was fun... p Phew! By the hair of my chinny-chin-chin I finished this in time for book group. Woo! And after hearing why E chose this book (because of her own personal experiences with a relative who suffers from Munchausen disorder, as well as the fact that she didn't realize it was in a series), I can even embrace her choice. I was pleased to find that, like book 6, this book featured a more tightly-woven plot than the earlier titles in the series. It really had a "whodunnit" feel to it, which was fun... plenty of red herrings to keep me entertained and interested. I am so glad I took the time to read up to this book, because I think it made my reading experience much richer than it otherwise would have been. I could appreciate the references to earlier books (always fun!), and knowing the backstory of the characters really helped inform my perspective of the action. No one else in book group had read the previous books, and while they definitely seemed to get into the story, I kind of got the feeling that they thought the character development of the main players was lacking. A lightbulb went off for me as we were discussing this one. Kellerman himself is a psychologist. Maybe a part of what drives his conspiracy-ridden plots is a desire to make sense of the senselessness of child abuse and the challenges mental illness. Real life rarely ends cleanly. But in a book, he can tie up all of those loose ends and have a sense of closure. When I started thinking about his crazy conspiracies in those terms, I felt a little less exasperated by them. I don't know if I'll be reading any more Alex Delaware novels. But I'm leaving the door open.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Pygmy

    Just another book I'm reading for the purpose of clearing shelf space. Frustratingly, I can't seem to just chuck it off the bat. It is written in a pleasant enough style, and so I keep reading in hopes that the dragging search for evidence for Munchausen by proxy will eventually become exciting. This isn't the first book in the series, which doesn't make me any happier. There are oblique references and reoccurring characters that I know nothing about. ETA: Meh. I was getting pissy enough with bei Just another book I'm reading for the purpose of clearing shelf space. Frustratingly, I can't seem to just chuck it off the bat. It is written in a pleasant enough style, and so I keep reading in hopes that the dragging search for evidence for Munchausen by proxy will eventually become exciting. This isn't the first book in the series, which doesn't make me any happier. There are oblique references and reoccurring characters that I know nothing about. ETA: Meh. I was getting pissy enough with being strung along that I considered just skipping to the end. Muscled through it and was rather dissatisfied, though I can't exactly explain why. Will not try any more books from this author.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Mukta Mohapatra

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. This book dragged on a bit for me. While a wealthy mogul is destroying the county hospital, his granddaughter is dying in it. Alex is brought in because Cassie's doctor suspects Munchhausen by proxy. We will go through many pages of suspecting the Mom, the nurse, the grandfather and other doctors. The CIA will get involved at one point because they are trying to take down the Grandfather, Chuck Jones, for embezzling the hospital's pension fund. In the end, Cassie's father was poisoning her becaus This book dragged on a bit for me. While a wealthy mogul is destroying the county hospital, his granddaughter is dying in it. Alex is brought in because Cassie's doctor suspects Munchhausen by proxy. We will go through many pages of suspecting the Mom, the nurse, the grandfather and other doctors. The CIA will get involved at one point because they are trying to take down the Grandfather, Chuck Jones, for embezzling the hospital's pension fund. In the end, Cassie's father was poisoning her because she wasn't his biologically, he is a psychopath and he hates his wife. He killed their first child also. Why he just didn't get a divorce and/or use birth control is beyond me.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Scotty Schrier

    Here's what I learned from this book. I don't like boring formulaic stories that make references to other books in the series that sound WAY more interesting than the one that I am currently reading. This book was the equivalent of buying a decent car and as you are leaving the dealership you find out that there was a much cooler car that you didn't see...for the same price as the one you just bought. I got buyer's remorse...and the book was GIVEN to me.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Bill Raye

    This is my favorite of the Alex Delaware series books. I've read about a dozen of them. Great character development, suspenseful until the end, and true to the authors purpose of continuing to educate the reader on the cause and effect of tortured and traumatized childhoods.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Angelique Simonsen

    A great whodunit, medical drama. I like Alex Delaware as the main character. Think I may try out more of his

  11. 5 out of 5

    Michael Adamchuk

    Child psychologist Alex Delaware is called in on a case by Dr. Stephanie Eves. A 2 year old girl, Cassie, keeps showing up in the ER with her parents. She has been having a variety of symptoms but no known causes.The parents are Cindy and Cassie. Cindy is a stay at home and Chip is a junior college professor and the son of the local hospital chairman and finance man. Moonlighting cop Milo Sturgis helps out by delving into the pasts of each participant. When a murderer strikes in the hospital par Child psychologist Alex Delaware is called in on a case by Dr. Stephanie Eves. A 2 year old girl, Cassie, keeps showing up in the ER with her parents. She has been having a variety of symptoms but no known causes.The parents are Cindy and Cassie. Cindy is a stay at home and Chip is a junior college professor and the son of the local hospital chairman and finance man. Moonlighting cop Milo Sturgis helps out by delving into the pasts of each participant. When a murderer strikes in the hospital parking lot, the case speeds up. I enjoyed this more than many of his previous novels.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Jonathon

    The book started off slow, but about halfway through it really took off. It was a good read, however, I wish the ending would have been tighter. I wanted to know how the trial ended and not just who done it.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Marleen

    Notwithstanding that this book was rather tedious, at times, because it concentrated very much on the "medical, it broaches a subject that is worth talking about. Indeed, child abuse, or here more specifically, Munchhausen by proxy, rarely makes it into a mystery fiction story. I have to note, that as this is one of the earlier books in the Alex Delaware series, for me, those earlier books are often hit and miss - it's towards the middle of the series that the Alex's and Milo Sturgis' cooperation Notwithstanding that this book was rather tedious, at times, because it concentrated very much on the "medical, it broaches a subject that is worth talking about. Indeed, child abuse, or here more specifically, Munchhausen by proxy, rarely makes it into a mystery fiction story. I have to note, that as this is one of the earlier books in the Alex Delaware series, for me, those earlier books are often hit and miss - it's towards the middle of the series that the Alex's and Milo Sturgis' cooperation really hits top notch quality detecting. Nevertheless, aside from the slow moving pace and the many redundant chapters, I thought the characterization was very well done, and you can feel the author absolutely starting to hit his stride.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Lynda

    Clinical child psychologist Alex Delaware was on a puzzling case, suspicions were raised involving Munchausen by proxy. Twenty-one-month-old Cassie Brooks Jones’ conditioned worsened with each visit for medical attention, her life was in danger and Alex’s timeframe was dwindling. The hospital became a troubling environment with budget cutbacks, attacks on staff and an atmosphere of growing tension ripe for possible revenge against the controllers of the hospital – Cassie’s grandfather and father Clinical child psychologist Alex Delaware was on a puzzling case, suspicions were raised involving Munchausen by proxy. Twenty-one-month-old Cassie Brooks Jones’ conditioned worsened with each visit for medical attention, her life was in danger and Alex’s timeframe was dwindling. The hospital became a troubling environment with budget cutbacks, attacks on staff and an atmosphere of growing tension ripe for possible revenge against the controllers of the hospital – Cassie’s grandfather and father. Obviously Cassie’s parents Cindy and Chip Jones were suspects and not the only ones on the list, some of the hospital staff raised concerns for Alex. Deception surrounding a murdered doctor led Alex on an investigative trail with tentacles extending beyond expectations and Cassie’s life teetering in the center of it all. Using the hospital as a backdrop provided insight to the challenges facing hospitals and an excellent opportunity to present information on Munchausen. Furthermore, its portrayal of the hospital as a business with a caring nature challenged by economic stresses and conflicting diagnosis was believable. “Devil’s Waltz” highlighted the investigative abilities of the main male character while placing his sidekick in a less commanding role showed off the vast connections available to be tapped when need arises.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Mary

    Munchausen by proxy is the terrifying disease that causes parents to induce illness in their own children. Now, in his most frightening case, Dr. Alex Delaware may have to prove that a child's own mother or father is making her sick. Twenty-one-month-old Cassie Jones is bright, energetic, the picture of health. Yet her parents rush her to the emergency room night after night with medical symptoms no doctor can explain. Cassie's parents seem sympathetic and deeply concerned. Her favorite nurse is Munchausen by proxy is the terrifying disease that causes parents to induce illness in their own children. Now, in his most frightening case, Dr. Alex Delaware may have to prove that a child's own mother or father is making her sick. Twenty-one-month-old Cassie Jones is bright, energetic, the picture of health. Yet her parents rush her to the emergency room night after night with medical symptoms no doctor can explain. Cassie's parents seem sympathetic and deeply concerned. Her favorite nurse is a model of devotion. Yet when child psychologist Alex Delaware is called in to investigate, instinct tells him that one of them may be a monster. Then a physician at the hospital is brutally murdered. A shadowy death is revealed. And Alex and his friend LAPD detective Milo Sturgis have only hours to uncover the link between these shocking events and the fate of an innocent child. I enjoyed this book as I have others in the series. Alex & Milo did it again - they are believable, likeable characters and the story is suspenseful.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Sandy

    In this book in the series Alex Delaware and Jonathan Kellerman takes on hospitals and the administration while trying to find an issue with a 2 year old little girl. I found this book very fast paced and enjoyable to listen to. I find that I am not enjoying the relationship that Alex is having with his main squeeze as much as I once did. I do find Detective Sturges very likeable still and very believable. Character development of that character is very well done as Sturges finds himself relegat In this book in the series Alex Delaware and Jonathan Kellerman takes on hospitals and the administration while trying to find an issue with a 2 year old little girl. I found this book very fast paced and enjoyable to listen to. I find that I am not enjoying the relationship that Alex is having with his main squeeze as much as I once did. I do find Detective Sturges very likeable still and very believable. Character development of that character is very well done as Sturges finds himself relegated to a desk job for an issue that happened in the prior book in the series. I do find that the books tie closely together and although you don't have to read them in order, I would find it hard to go backwards in order. Each book gives you enough background on the prior books without ruining the story but I find myself thinking back on prior books and it brings a more fleshed out story.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Cheryl

    Yet another Kellerman, this one with a suspected case of Munchausens by Proxy. My biggest issue with this one, is just how irritating both the child and mother was in the story. The reader is supposed to have sympathy for the poor little kid, not be annoyed by her. One thing I thought was amusing, is both the father in the story calls his daughter Spike, and Milo calls another ex-convict Spike; I thought this was going to be the genesis of Alex and Robin's first French Bulldog also called Spike. Yet another Kellerman, this one with a suspected case of Munchausens by Proxy. My biggest issue with this one, is just how irritating both the child and mother was in the story. The reader is supposed to have sympathy for the poor little kid, not be annoyed by her. One thing I thought was amusing, is both the father in the story calls his daughter Spike, and Milo calls another ex-convict Spike; I thought this was going to be the genesis of Alex and Robin's first French Bulldog also called Spike. Also, no Frenchies show up in this story. And Milo is always the most compelling and interesting character in the book yet again.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Susan

    I'm guessing I'd give this one at least 4 stars. I picked this up yesterday in a second-hand bookstore and realized I had read it years before and maybe I'll read it again someday because of the interesting subject but in the meantime I have to start working on the other 4 JK books I bought. My ambition is to read all of his books because I love his style and insight into the characters. (He really does like to describe in detail the physical appearance of his characters though!)

  19. 4 out of 5

    Sridhar Babu

    AUTHOR... JONATHAN KELLERMAN... CHARACTERS... Alex Delaware, Milo Sturgis, Cassie Jones (Cassandra Brooka), Chip Jones, Chunk Jones, Cindy Brooks Jones, Dawn Herbert, Ashmore, Stephanie. and others.. LOCATION... Los Angels... GENRE.. Suspense... PLOT... Twenty one month old Cassie Jones is bright, energetic, the picture of good health.. Yet her parents rush her to the emergency room night after night at Western pediatric Hospital with medical symptoms no doctor can explain. Cassie is the only daught AUTHOR... JONATHAN KELLERMAN... CHARACTERS... Alex Delaware, Milo Sturgis, Cassie Jones (Cassandra Brooka), Chip Jones, Chunk Jones, Cindy Brooks Jones, Dawn Herbert, Ashmore, Stephanie. and others.. LOCATION... Los Angels... GENRE.. Suspense... PLOT... Twenty one month old Cassie Jones is bright, energetic, the picture of good health.. Yet her parents rush her to the emergency room night after night at Western pediatric Hospital with medical symptoms no doctor can explain. Cassie is the only daughter of Professor Chip Jones, and Cindy Brooks Jones. Their first child Chad Jones sudden death has been written off as SIDS,(Sudden Infant Death Syndrome) Dr.Stephanie runs all kinds of tests on the child. CPR, ER, Blood tests, chest X ray, symptoms for SIDS, enzyme disorder, toxicology test, pancreas test, diarrhea and results turns out be normal and clean. Medical specialists were consulted for irritable bowel syndrome, brain tumors, seizures, Crohn's disease, and liver problems, still the doctors treating her can't diagnose something organic in Cassie's metabolism. It becomes a regular process , Cassie being dragged in to the hospital in the middle of night and put through the wringer. Her mother Cindy, stays composed, able to comfort the baby, cuddling her when every medical procedure was over. Cassie's father Chip Jones, an award winning college professor at West Valley Community college in the Department of Social Sciences. Her parents seem sympathetic and deeply concerned about Cassie's health and her speedy recovery. Cassie's favorite nurse Vicki Bottomly seems model of devotion and very much attached to Cassie, by gifting her luvbunny dolls. DR.Stephanie calls child psychologist Dr. Alex Delaware to investigate the case. Alex after conducting series of enquiries with her, suspects of an evil variant, namely MUNCHAUSEN BY PROXY. Named after Baron Von Munchausen, MUNCHAUSEN BY PROXY is a dangerous mental state where parents - invariably, mothers faking illness in their own off spring. Using their children especially daughters - as crucibles for a hideous of lies, pains and disease. It is about People who proxied their kids by poisoning salt, sugar, alcohol.narcotics,expectorants , even feces and pus to create "bacteriologically battered babies". Infants and toddlers are regularly subjected to a staggering list of torment experiments by their parents. Children in whom a frighteningly wide range of phony diseases can be induced-virtually faking every pathology. In these cases mothers are frequently the culprits. Daughters almost always the victims. After meeting Cindy at the Hospital, where Cassie was admitted, Alex learns that the criminal profile suits her : model mummy, often charming and personable,with the background in medicine or a paramedical field. Unusual calmness in the face of disaster...usually over caring mother towards Cassie. Alex with his detective friend Milo sturgis digs the background of Cindy and discovers that she was raised by an aunt who was a nurse. Cindy herself was a respiratory tech and recruited for Army, was discharged after few months because of Influenza. Cassie father Chip Jones is the only son of Charles Junior, a hotshot financier, also hospital's primary money monger. Alex learns that the Western pediatric hospital is in turmoil. Many of the hospital's experienced doctors are leaving or alteady left, hospital understaffed, doctor's pension amounts which are kept in surplus are looted by Charles Junior. Hospital's physician and researcher Ashmore and his secretary Dawn Herbert were brutally murdered..and a shadowy death is revealed. Alex visits Cindy's house to find some evidence for confirming her a Munchausen monster. He discovers empty insulin cylinders staked behind toilet sink. Cindy informs Alex that they were leftover cylinders once used by her diabetic Aunt. Just a few days before Dawn Herbert's brutal murder, Alex finds that she had taken the medical chart of the dead sibling Chad Jones and not returned it. CLIMAX Alex and Milo without a solid evidence could not get an arrest warrent against Cindy. They are desperate in protecting the innocent child from the hands of unkonwn monster . Alex and Milo verifies the backgrounds of all suspects including Cassie's mother Cindy, nurse Vicki Bottomly and even Dr.Stephanie,as she was once arrested for drunk and drive. Alex n Milo teaming with a FBI undercover detective Hunengrah, who is waiting for four years to expose Charles Junior's misappropriation of doctor's surplus pension fund, traps the child abusing monster. By secretly fixing video camera at the room where Cassie is admitted, they trap Chip Jones, red handed and arrests him. Dawn Herbert'sDecoded message in Ashburn's computer and details obtained from the west valley community college students sheds light on Chip Jones disturbed past. By hiring a sociopath prisoner, he murdered Dawn Herbert. Charles Junior and his team of thugs arrested for the murder of Laurence Ashburn. Because of Cindy's lowlife at the Army, Jones hated her and denied paternity of his two children. So he became a Munchausen monster,killed his first child and started abusing the second. My comment... A very different, controversial subject well handled by the author...!!! DEVIL'S WALTZ....TIME PASS..!!!

  20. 4 out of 5

    Tgordon

    I loved this book! I can’t wait to read more from this series. This book is about a child who is in the hospital many times for different illnesses but the underlying problem can never be found. There is a sibling who died years before of crib death. Munchausen by proxy? Who can tell? The Dr called in is a psychiatrist involved with children who is the lead character of this series! Great story line and great twist!

  21. 5 out of 5

    Nancy

    Dr. Delaware is called in to help with a case that seems to be a standard Munchausen by proxy, but of course there is a twist and a conspiracy involved to make the story more exciting. Typical Kellerman story that I liked when I first read it years ago.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Karl Marberger

    This one was interesting. I may be a little off-base, but to me, this was a change of pace from the previous Alex Delaware novels. This one is a medical thriller with less psychological imprint. As usual, the narrative and dialogue is as smooth as silk and the pages fly by.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Sue Barr

    Read the whole book but think I need to give up on J. Kellerman. I tried another one awhile ago and didn't finish it. Did finish this one though hoping I'd start liking it, but just too much unnecessary detail and couldn't get into most of the characters.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Heather

    It is now the spring of 1989. Milo has finished his 6 month suspicion for punching his superior officer on TV and is now relegated to desk jockey grunt work. Brief love Linda has decided to stay in Texas following the death of her father, conveniently paving the way for a reconciliation between Alex and Robin. The koi who surprisingly spawned a couple of books ago are doing well. Life is life as usual for this L.A. crew. And then Alex gets a call from an former colleague (Stephanie) from his days It is now the spring of 1989. Milo has finished his 6 month suspicion for punching his superior officer on TV and is now relegated to desk jockey grunt work. Brief love Linda has decided to stay in Texas following the death of her father, conveniently paving the way for a reconciliation between Alex and Robin. The koi who surprisingly spawned a couple of books ago are doing well. Life is life as usual for this L.A. crew. And then Alex gets a call from an former colleague (Stephanie) from his days at Western Pediatric. The 21 month old granddaughter (Cassie) of the new head of the hospital keeps getting admitted to the E.R., but test after test reveals there is nothing wrong with her - she is perfectly healthy at the hospital, but not at home. Alex is asked to provide his professional opinion and to help work with the little girl's growing fear of doctors. Alex is surprised to find that financial challenges have made his beloved Western Peds a place he no longer recognizes. Gone is the mental health services department as it was deemed unnecessary (i.e. too much overhead), though he still has staff privileges as his appointment was through pediatrics, not psychology. After talking with Stephanie and learning Cassie's older brother died of SIDS, Alex begins to suspect Cassie is the victim of Manchausen by Proxy - a mental illness in which symptoms are faked in children to make them appear (or actually made to become) sick. Since this is generally done by the mother, suspicion naturally falls on Cassie's mother, Cindy. And as Cassie continues her cycle of being brought in to the hospital and taken back home, Alex begins to also wonder if the Jones's fist baby really died of SIDS. He becomes even more suspicious when he discovers the file of Cassie's older brother is missing, and the doctor who last had access to it is murdered - as was his former assistant, making Alex wonder what exactly had these two discovered. I had actually read this book before, but it has been so long, I forgot how it ended. I think this is the book that made me decide to just start over with the series and read it from the beginning because I was confused as to how Robin came back into the picture and then I never got around to it until now. There were actually two interwoven plots here: first, the mysteries of Cassie's illness and second, the financial ruin of the hospital and what role the Jones family played in whether the hospital was going to succeed or collapse. I'm finally getting used to the narrator's voice, though I don't think it will ever jive with my idea of Alex Delaware. He does work for my idea of Milo, though. I loved that this book had a reference to Detective Dunn in the Foothill Division, a nod to one of the characters in the series written by Kellerman's wife, Faye. And living in the area, I just shake my head whenever Alex calls his financial advisor and the narrator pronounces "Willamette" incorrectly. But overall, this book was an interesting look at Manchausen by Proxy and what drives a parent to do that to their own child. And then when Cassie started to get sick in the hospital as well as at home, that just added to the frustration as it sent everyone back to square one. I was glad I didn't remember how this book ended as that caused me to pay attention to it rather than just half listening to it. You never know in a series such as this which details or characters will be brought up again in future books. I also appreciated that more attention was paid on the details of the case rather than describing the setting and what everyone was wearing. It is a bit dated in terms of some of the cultural and technological references of time compared to now, but there didn't seem to be as much of that in this book as the previous six. Either that, or I've just become immune to it knowing this is an older series. I still have a long way to go to catch up to the (current) end of this series. It's not my favorite, but I do enjoy the books enough to continue with them.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Alex Shrugged

    I am liking the series much better since the author has eased up on the sexual descriptions. Warning! Children are in danger in this novel. If that disturbs you, then skip this book. The story: Dr. Alex Delaware (psychologist) is called for a consultation on a case of possible abuse of a child, an 18 month old named Cassie. Cassie's mother is suspected of poisoning the child so as to mimic disease, thus drawing attention to the child and thus the mother. The family's previous child had died of SID I am liking the series much better since the author has eased up on the sexual descriptions. Warning! Children are in danger in this novel. If that disturbs you, then skip this book. The story: Dr. Alex Delaware (psychologist) is called for a consultation on a case of possible abuse of a child, an 18 month old named Cassie. Cassie's mother is suspected of poisoning the child so as to mimic disease, thus drawing attention to the child and thus the mother. The family's previous child had died of SIDS. The father is the son of one of the board members of the hospital, so accusing the family of child abuse would have bad consequences for everyone. In the first novel of the series, Delaware had worked in this same pediatric hospital, but the hospital has fallen on hard times. Bad attitudes and a difficult security manager is the background behind a murder of a doctor... the doctor who had been asked to evaluate the SIDS death. On a lighter note it looks like Alex has patched it up with Robin Castagna. Good news. Any problems with the novel? Other than the disturbing subject, I was a little annoyed with the security manager, but it seems (once I got to the end of the novel) that he was intended to be annoying. It worked out in the end. Any modesty issues? The F-word is used over 20 times. This is normal for this series. Although sensuality is described, sex is not described. Promiscuity is discussed. Adultery is discussed. Sexual perversion is discussed briefly toward the end. It fits in with the rest of the novel and explains why the perpetrator came to abuse one child, and murder the other. The ending was satisfying, and the perpetrator was sufficiently hidden from the reader until all was revealed. I'd read this book again even though I now know "who did it". I liked the process of how the mystery was presented.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Bonnie Meche

    Don't know why I'd never read this episode in the Alex Delaware series before, as it was certainly worth the time and effort. Delaware is, as always, the ideal protagonist for me - noble of heart, facile of mind, but willing and able to confront his own shortcomings, truly my kind of hero. But a large part of the joy of reading Kellerman is his ability to take on the worst kind of villains - the heartless, verminous type who live at the top of the food chain by exploiting everyone and everything Don't know why I'd never read this episode in the Alex Delaware series before, as it was certainly worth the time and effort. Delaware is, as always, the ideal protagonist for me - noble of heart, facile of mind, but willing and able to confront his own shortcomings, truly my kind of hero. But a large part of the joy of reading Kellerman is his ability to take on the worst kind of villains - the heartless, verminous type who live at the top of the food chain by exploiting everyone and everything around them. In this instance, he targets the kind of tycoons who transform the medical industry into their own personal slush fund, so it's lovely to watch them hoisted on their own petard, so to speak. Add the heartbreak of a child victimized by a ruthless, spineless predator and his cunning use of a horrible psychological disorder to further his dastardly ambitions, and you have a page-turner of the first order - the kind you have to read in one sitting.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Sharon Terry

    An absorbing thriller about a little girl whose frequent crisis admissions to hospital cause her doctor to suspect her mother of Munchausen by Proxy: deliberately making the child sick to create attention and sympathy for the mother. After just about everyone has slipped in and out of the frame, the killer is unmasked by carefully-placed cameras. The interesting theme could have been handled better. Unfortunately, the book is too long – the writing could have been tightened up quite a bit. Keller An absorbing thriller about a little girl whose frequent crisis admissions to hospital cause her doctor to suspect her mother of Munchausen by Proxy: deliberately making the child sick to create attention and sympathy for the mother. After just about everyone has slipped in and out of the frame, the killer is unmasked by carefully-placed cameras. The interesting theme could have been handled better. Unfortunately, the book is too long – the writing could have been tightened up quite a bit. Kellerman has an irritating habit of describing each character, even minor ones, in detail, down to the shoes on their feet. He also overdoes descriptive passages about driving through different locations. This caused me to lose the thread and reduced my interest in places. I might try another Kellerman before I give up, however.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Phaedra221

    Having read a number of Kelleman's book, I was looking forward to this one and wondered why I had never read it before; can't think of any reason other than the fact that I have so many books in my office that are beckoning to me, and this was not one of them (it's for my Mystery Book Club). Here we have a 21 month-old child who is rushed to the hospital time and time again by her mother. Her pediatrician eventually calls in Alex Delaware as she is becoming suspicious and is wondering if Munchaus Having read a number of Kelleman's book, I was looking forward to this one and wondered why I had never read it before; can't think of any reason other than the fact that I have so many books in my office that are beckoning to me, and this was not one of them (it's for my Mystery Book Club). Here we have a 21 month-old child who is rushed to the hospital time and time again by her mother. Her pediatrician eventually calls in Alex Delaware as she is becoming suspicious and is wondering if Munchausen's by Proxy is at play. Other than the fact that this could have been reduced to the less than 416 pages it took Kelleman to wrap up this novel, it holds your attention. Could some of the twists, characters, or conversations been eliminated? Yes. But, if you're a fan of Kellerman and Alex Delaware, you'll find this a good read.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Naomi

    Dr. Alex Delaware is called in to help figure out what is wrong with Cassie, a lovely little girl who is always ending up in the hospital. Brought in by her parents the attending physician is beginning to suspect munchausen by proxy but needs help from Alex who is a renowned psychologist. The premise to this novel is interesting enough but it drags down in its execution. The hospital itself has many problems in keeping its head above water but the staff and facilities are constantly being cut be Dr. Alex Delaware is called in to help figure out what is wrong with Cassie, a lovely little girl who is always ending up in the hospital. Brought in by her parents the attending physician is beginning to suspect munchausen by proxy but needs help from Alex who is a renowned psychologist. The premise to this novel is interesting enough but it drags down in its execution. The hospital itself has many problems in keeping its head above water but the staff and facilities are constantly being cut because there is not enough money. The parents of Cassie have already lost their son to SIDS and the parental grandfather, Chuck Jones is very wealthy and running things at the hospital. A doctor also from the hospital was murdered in the parking lot and the author of the book seems to have taken more time than necessary to figure things out.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Gwenyth Robicheaux

    After reading this book, I realized that I've read it before but, for some reason, I didn't recognize it until I got to the anticlimax, though I did think one of the non-serial characters seemed awfully familiar to me. Anyway, I've read many if not all the books in the Alex Delaware series, and while this one is not my favorite, it's pretty high on the list. Munchhausen by proxy is a fascinating and terrible psychopathy and makes for a compelling subject. I enjoyed Alex and Robin and Milo all ov After reading this book, I realized that I've read it before but, for some reason, I didn't recognize it until I got to the anticlimax, though I did think one of the non-serial characters seemed awfully familiar to me. Anyway, I've read many if not all the books in the Alex Delaware series, and while this one is not my favorite, it's pretty high on the list. Munchhausen by proxy is a fascinating and terrible psychopathy and makes for a compelling subject. I enjoyed Alex and Robin and Milo all over again, had fun trying to figure out the mystery, and felt the pressure to solve it before the poor child could be killed. Now I want to figure out if there are any in this series I haven't read and put them in my lineup.

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