'True Detectives' by Jonathan Kellerman


  Listen up, fans of Jonathan Kellerman. His latest novel is not about Alex Delaware. It's really not, despite what's been advertised in some media outlets.
  The famed psychologist has been at the center of many best-selling Kellerman novels for about 20 years. Kellerman usually comes out with a Delaware novel once a year. Last autumn’s “Bones” was a best-seller in what was a very busy year for the Los Angeles author (he also released another Delaware novel “Compulsion” and the musical memoir “With Strings Attached:
The Art and Beauty of Vintage Guitars”).
  This time, Kellerman strikes a different note, because the story really isn't about Delaware. But fans should be pleased with the results. “True Detectives” is a classic detective story — it’s about two interracial, half brothers trying to find a missing person
in the seedy underbelly of L.A. Most of Kellerman’s Delaware novels have strongly emphasized the psychological aspect of the criminal case, which is all fine and dandy. That’s what has made him popular. They’re unique story lines that tend to be chatty and full of details.
  “True Detectives” (technically, No. 24 in the Delaware series) has less dialogue and more action, which I like. And it has some solid character development, and a few twists and turns, especially near the end. Plus it’s still rooted into the L.A. scene and has plenty of vivid locales. It’s one of the most enjoyable Kellerman novels I’ve read.
  The story focuses on two half brothers, Aaron Fox and Moses Reed, both of whom played minor roles in “Bones.” The young adults are the sons of a strong-willed mother, and their respective fathers were cops and friends. “True Detectives” starts with a tragic exposition about how the lives of Fox and Reed became intertwined. It’s a riveting beginning that sets the plot in motion.
  Fox, a former cop, is a private eye who caters to a wealthy clientele in the L.A. region. He has a large taste for the finer things in life.
Reed is a gritty LAPD detective who has seen his fair share of violence in his brief career. Their paths sometimes cross on cases, but they haven’t teamed up to solve them. They have a turbulent relationship, and they try to avoid each other.
  However, the disappearance of Caitlin Frostig changes their relationship. Fox is hired by a prominent client, and he pursues
Frostig’s case with a dogged determination. Reed joins the case, which gets more complex and eccentric by the minute.
  Frostig was a straight-A college student from Malibu who has disappeared without warning. Two immediate suspects are her single father and her All-American boyfriend. But things aren’t always as they seem. The cast of suspects grows larger, and there is at least one death involved. Secret lives are exposed, and reputations are seemingly ruined. The case threatens to divide Fox and Reed even more. But if Frostig is ever going to be found, the brothers need to work together. Lives — and careers — are hanging in the balance.
  Delaware and his loyal detective sidekick Milo Sturgis make brief appearances in “True Detectives,” but it’s clearly the story of Fox and Reed. Let’s hope it’s not a one-time deal for the brothers.