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The Wedding Guest
Cover of The Wedding Guest
The Wedding Guest
Alex Delaware Series, Book 34
NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER
  • Psychologist Alex Delaware and detective Milo Sturgis unravel a shocking crime at a raucous wedding reception in this gripping psychological thriller from the bestselling master of suspense.
    "Jonathan Kellerman's psychology skills and dark imagination are a potent literary mix."—Los Angeles Times


    LAPD Lieutenant Milo Sturgis is a fine homicide detective, but when he needs to get into the mind of a killer, he leans on the expertise of his best friend, the brilliant psychologist Dr. Alex Delaware. While Sturgis has a knack for piecing together the details of a crime, Delaware can decipher the darkest intents driving the most vicious of perpetrators. And there's no better place for the doctor's analytical skills to shine than a rowdy hall full of young men and women intoxicated on life and lust . . . and suddenly faced with the specter of death.
    Summoned to a run-down former strip joint, Delaware and Sturgis find themselves crashing a wild Saints and Sinners–themed wedding reception. But they're not the only uninvited guests. A horrified bridesmaid has discovered the body of a young woman, dressed to impress in pricey haute couture and accessorized with a grisly red slash around her neck. What's missing is any means of identification, or a single partygoer who recognizes the victim. The baffled bride is convinced the stranger snuck in to sabotage her big day—and the groom is sure it's all a dreadful mistake. But Delaware and Sturgis have a hundred guests to question, and a sneaking suspicion that the motive for murder is personal. Now they must separate the sinners from the saints, the true from the false, and the secrets from those keeping them. The party's over—and the hunt for whoever killed it is on.
    "As usual, [Delaware and Sturgis] form a formidable team. Also as usual, the characters here are varied and described with gritty clarity, and the puzzle facing the duo involves a delightful mix of L.A. culture, this time from its dive bars to its much more serious side."—Booklist
  • NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER
  • Psychologist Alex Delaware and detective Milo Sturgis unravel a shocking crime at a raucous wedding reception in this gripping psychological thriller from the bestselling master of suspense.
    "Jonathan Kellerman's psychology skills and dark imagination are a potent literary mix."—Los Angeles Times


    LAPD Lieutenant Milo Sturgis is a fine homicide detective, but when he needs to get into the mind of a killer, he leans on the expertise of his best friend, the brilliant psychologist Dr. Alex Delaware. While Sturgis has a knack for piecing together the details of a crime, Delaware can decipher the darkest intents driving the most vicious of perpetrators. And there's no better place for the doctor's analytical skills to shine than a rowdy hall full of young men and women intoxicated on life and lust . . . and suddenly faced with the specter of death.
    Summoned to a run-down former strip joint, Delaware and Sturgis find themselves crashing a wild Saints and Sinners–themed wedding reception. But they're not the only uninvited guests. A horrified bridesmaid has discovered the body of a young woman, dressed to impress in pricey haute couture and accessorized with a grisly red slash around her neck. What's missing is any means of identification, or a single partygoer who recognizes the victim. The baffled bride is convinced the stranger snuck in to sabotage her big day—and the groom is sure it's all a dreadful mistake. But Delaware and Sturgis have a hundred guests to question, and a sneaking suspicion that the motive for murder is personal. Now they must separate the sinners from the saints, the true from the false, and the secrets from those keeping them. The party's over—and the hunt for whoever killed it is on.
    "As usual, [Delaware and Sturgis] form a formidable team. Also as usual, the characters here are varied and described with gritty clarity, and the puzzle facing the duo involves a delightful mix of L.A. culture, this time from its dive bars to its much more serious side."—Booklist
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    Excerpts-
    • From the book CHAPTER 1

      No Regrets.

      Stupid name for a signature cocktail. Brears had found the recipe online, this tequila-Baileys thing. Seven shots plus the deejay speeding everything up plus the pink wine Leanza had drunk before the ceremony were killing her bladder.

      When she got to the ladies' room, a line trailed out into the hall. Pathetic little ladies' room, like two stalls, because of what the venue had been before.

      She took her place at the back. Her bladder felt like it was gonna explode.

      No Regrets. As if.

      Last week at the bachelorette in Vegas, Brears was all about regrets. After ten shots of her signature bachelorette cocktail, this rum and some sweet orange thing with bubbles in it. The week before there was a signature bridal shower cocktail, champagne and grapefruit soda and a toothpick with a little plastic bride on top.

      Everything had to be "bespoke" for Brears, since she'd learned the word, she couldn't stop using it.

      Once her mom or dad died there'd probably be a signature funeral cocktail.

      At the bachelorette, Brears was throwing back shots faster than anyone while doing a man-spread on the sofa in the suite and letting out artisan shrimp pizza burps that smelled like the bottom of a fish tank.

      Then she started talking, looking like she was gonna cry.

      Plenty of regrets about Garrett, what the eff am I doing?

      Everyone telling her what a great guy he was, she was doing the right thing.

      Brears drinks, burps, looks like she's falling asleep but she isn't. Coupla more shots, she's all I love Garrett so so so so much.

      I think.

      Then she did cry.

      But right then the hot-boy strippers came prancing in like ponies. Fireman / cop / cowboy / pool boy. Stripped naked in seconds.

      Brears had no regrets about them.

      Leanza was sure Garrett, who really was nice but kind of smart-dumb pathetic, had no clue. His signature cocktail wasn't. Some kind of pale ale made from oats? That is not a cocktail.

      Leanza's stomach pressed down and moved around weird. Like she'd swallowed a rat and it was chewing on her bladder.

      The line hadn't budged since she got there.

      Two old women, had to be friends of Brears's or Garrett's parents, got in line behind her and started talking about what a lovely affair it was. Considering the venue. Did you know? Giggle giggle.

      Old bitches shouldn't giggle, they sounded like maniac squirrels.

      Maybe that was the problem with the ladies' room, some grandma not able to get the plumbing going . . . then oh, shit, there was Mom, barely able to walk, her boobs hanging out as she wobbled toward the line and Leanza knew she'd want to have one of those girl-to-girl talks that proved to Mom she was still young . . . oh, God, she was going to explode.

      Then she remembered.

      Upstairs, where she and the other bridesmaids had sat in a crowded room and did their hair and makeup—all by themselves, you'd think Brears would share her stylists but no—upstairs there was also a bathroom. Leanza hadn't used it but Teysa had, Leanza remembered because Teysa came back with the bottom of her dress all flipped up in back and Leanza had joked you look like you just took it in the backside and Teysa had laughed and Leanza had fixed her.

      Problem was, the stairs were all the way on the other side of the building. Probably some office space for when it used to be a strip joint. Could she make it back there without totally exploding?

      Would she get up there and then find someone else had figured it out first and then she'd have to come back here and go to the end...
    About the Author-
    • Jonathan Kellerman is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of more than forty crime novels, including the Alex Delaware series, The Butcher's Theater, Billy Straight, The Conspiracy Club, Twisted, True Detectives, and The Murderer's Daughter. With his wife, bestselling novelist Faye Kellerman, he co-authored Double Homicide and Capital Crimes. With his son, bestselling novelist Jesse Kellerman, he co-authored A Measure of Darkness, Crime Scene, The Golem of Hollywood, and The Golem of Paris. He is also the author of two children's books and numerous nonfiction works, including Savage Spawn: Reflections on Violent Children and With Strings Attached: The Art and Beauty of Vintage Guitars. He has won the Goldwyn, Edgar, and Anthony awards and the Lifetime Achievement Award from the American Psychological Association, and has been nominated for a Shamus Award. Jonathan and Faye Kellerman live in California, New Mexico, and New York.
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      Random House Publishing Group
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    Alex Delaware Series, Book 34
    Jonathan Kellerman
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