Waiting on Wednesday – Unnatural History by Jonathan Kellerman

Welcome to my weekly segment, Waiting on Wednesday, where I look at upcoming books that I am planning to order and review in the next few months and which I think I will really enjoy.  I run this segment in conjunction with the Can’t-Wait Wednesday meme that is currently running at Wishful Endings.  Stay tuned to see reviews of these books when I get a copy of them.  For my latest Waiting on Wednesday, I dive into the upcoming releases of 2023 with an awesome and intriguing new murder mystery from legendary author Jonathan Kellerman, Unnatural History.

Unnatural History Cover

Fans of this blog will probably note that while I read a variety of books annually, there are several key series that I try to continue each year by grabbing the latest entries.  These series cover a range of genres, such as gripping spy thrillers, impressive fantasy novels, and compelling historical fiction series.  This also includes a couple of great, long-running crime fiction series whose intense and captivating mysteries always serve as a fun treat for me.  Of these, one of the most intriguing is the long-running Alex Delaware series by acclaimed author Jonathan Kellerman.

The Alex Delaware series is an excellent murder mystery series that follows talented child psychologist, Alex Delaware, as he investigates unusual murders in Los Angeles with his long-time friend, Detective Milo Sturgis.  Following on from Kellerman’s debut novel, When the Bough Breaks, the Alex Delaware series has been running for over 35 years and features a massive number of entries.  However, despite how long the series has been going, Kellerman is still pumping out some awesome reads that have some very distinctive and compelling cases to them.

My own experiences with the Alex Delaware books started a few years ago when I checked out the interesting sounding novel, The Wedding Guest, that focused on a mysterious death of an unknown guest at a wedding.  I ended up having a wonderful time with this novel, which featured a great mystery, and a methodical and realistic investigation style that worked around the fantastic and unique team of Alex and Milo.  I enjoyed it so much that I made sure to grab the next book in the series when it came out, with the intense and dark The Museum of Desire, which featured another impressive case around an elaborate murder.  Since then, I have read the latest two entries in the series, Serpentine and City of the Dead, both of which were outstanding reads, and I have also started looking for older entries in the series to check out.  As such, it is fair to say that I am now a pretty substantial fan of the series and the author, and as a result I get extremely excited when I find out details about the next Alex Delaware book to come out.

Well, its time to get pumped as I know have some details about the next, upcoming Alex Delaware novel, Unnatural History.  Set for release in February 2023, Unnatural History will be the 38th entry in this long running series and looks set to deliver another intense and powerful mystery.  This time Alex and Milo will investigate the killing of a notorious and wealthy photographer, and they must determine whether his death is related to his controversial art or his bizarre and uber-rich family.  I am already very intrigued and hyped about this amazing sounding story and I can’t wait to dig through its awesome mystery.  While I already knew I was going to enjoy Unnatural History due to Kellerman’s stellar ability, I am a lot more hyped after reading the below synopsis, and I will be very happy the moment I get my hands on this book early next year.

Synopsis:

The most enduring detectives in American crime fiction are back in this electrifying thriller of art and brutality from the #1 New York Times bestselling master of suspense.

Los Angeles is a city of stark contrast, the palaces of the affluent coexisting uneasily with the hellholes of the mad and the needy. It is that shadow world and the violence it breeds that draw brilliant psychologist Dr. Alex Delaware and Detective Milo Sturgis into an unsettling case of altruism gone wrong.

On a superficially lovely morning a woman shows up for work with her usual enthusiasm. She’s the newly hired personal assistant to a handsome, wealthy photographer and is ready to greet her boss with coffee and good cheer. Instead, she finds him slumped in bed, shot to death.

The victim had recently received rave media attention for his latest project: images of homeless people in their personal “dream” situations, elaborately costumed and enacting unfulfilled fantasies. There are some, however, who view the whole thing as nothing more than crass exploitation, citing token payments and the victim’s avoidance of any long-term relationships with his subjects.

Has disgruntlement blossomed into homicidal rage? Or do the roots of violence reach down to the victim’s family—a clan, sired by an elusive billionaire, that is bizarre in its own right?

Then new murders arise, and Alex and Milo begin peeling back layer after layer of intrigue and complexity, culminating in one of the deadliest threats they’ve ever faced.

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