When the slightly retarded 15-year-old daughter of a diplomat is murdered in cold blood on a school field trip in the Santa Monica Mountains, her father adamantly denies the possibility of a political motive. The Los Angeles Police Department's Detective Milo Sturgis and his longtime friend, psychologist Alex Delaware, pose the question: Why?The victim's father is so intent on controlling the investigation that Alex and Milo start to wonder if he wants to bring out the truth or make sure it stays buried. Then there is another killing, and within days Alex finds himself ensnared in one of the darkest, most menacing cases of his career. An obsessed killer, who takes as much pleasure in matching wits with the police as in robbing human life, all in the name of science, is still on the loose.Driven to find answers, Alex and Milo work closely with Inspector Daniel Sharavi, the brilliant Israeli police detective. In the end, though, it is Alex who will go undercover, alone, to expose the smug brutality of a murderous conspiracy and a terrifying contempt for human life. In Survival of the Fittest, Jonathan Kellerman draws one of the most chilling, frighteningly realistic portraits of evil you will ever listen to.More
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Abridged! Beware Delaware fans!
Rubinstein is a terrific reader, as Alex Delaware and in general. His characterizations are brilliant but never over the top (he does women especially well, with no hint of caricature) and his voice is soothing. I've listened to books simply on the strength of his performance.
I couldn't put my finger on what was missing in this book...I've listened to many Delaware books. The characterization was skimpy, descriptive detail (of L.A. geography, driving routes, buildings, neighborhoods, rooms, food, etc) was almost absent, Milo and Alex's badinage was drastically curtailed, and the deductive reasoning made huge, improbable, leaps and led laughably directly to the conclusion. The climax appeared startlingly suddenly, and the entire affair seemed ramshackle and schematic sans the usual Kellerman nuances. Only after the unsatisfactorily abrupt climax did I realize the book was abridged, Since I never knowingly buy abridged titles, I can't be entirely sure that it explains the problems I've cited, but I strongly suspect so. A real disappointment.
- Michael Owsowitz