7 Best Jonathan Kellerman Books – Gripping Crime Fiction

Jonathan Kellerman is a renowned author of crime fiction novels, known for his gripping and intense storylines. With over 40 books to his name, it can be hard to know where to start. Below, we’ve compiled a list of the top 7 Jonathan Kellerman books you should read, including his most popular series and standalone novels. So, let’s dive in and explore the world of Kellerman’s thrilling stories!

7 Best Jonathan Kellerman Books - Gripping Crime Fiction

Who is Jonathan Kellerman?

Before we delve into the top 7 books, let’s take a moment to introduce the author behind them. Jonathan Kellerman was born in New York in 1949 and grew up in Los Angeles. He received a BA in psychology from UCLA and then went on to earn his PhD in clinical psychology from USC. Kellerman worked as a psychologist before turning to fiction writing, bringing his expertise in the field to his novels.

A Brief Biography of Jonathan Kellerman

Jonathan Kellerman’s writing career began in 1985 with the publication of his first novel, “When the Bough Breaks“. Since then, he has written over 40 novels and has become one of the most popular and successful crime fiction writers of our time.

Kellerman’s books have won numerous awards, including the Edgar Award, the Anthony Award, and the Macavity Award. His novels have been published in over 20 languages and have sold millions of copies worldwide.

In addition to his fiction writing, Kellerman has also written non-fiction books on psychology, including “Savage Spawn: Reflections on Violent Children” and “With Strings Attached: The Art and Beauty of Vintage Guitars“.

Kellerman’s Writing Style and Themes

When it comes to his writing style, Kellerman is known for his attention to detail and intricate plotting. His books are suspenseful, with twists and turns that keep the reader hooked until the very end.

Kellerman’s themes often revolve around crime, psychology, and the darker aspects of human nature. His Alex Delaware series, featuring a psychologist who assists the LAPD in solving crimes, is particularly known for its exploration of the psychological motivations behind criminal behavior.

Overall, Jonathan Kellerman’s novels are gripping, thought-provoking, and expertly crafted. Whether you’re a fan of crime fiction or simply appreciate a well-written novel, his books are sure to keep you on the edge of your seat.

The Alex Delaware Series

Now, let’s take a closer look at the Alex Delaware series, one of Kellerman’s most popular works.

An Introduction to the Series

The Alex Delaware series follows Alex Delaware, a psychologist who often assists his friend, Detective Milo Sturgis, in solving crimes. The series is set in Los Angeles and has been ongoing since 1985, with over 30 books in the series.

The Evolution of Alex Delaware

Throughout the series, Alex Delaware evolves from a recent divorcee struggling to rebuild his life to a more well-adjusted and fulfilled individual. His expertise in psychology often plays a crucial role in solving the crimes he encounters.

As the series progresses, readers get to see Alex Delaware grow and develop as a character. In the earlier books, he is still dealing with the aftermath of his divorce and trying to find his place in the world. He is often haunted by memories of his ex-wife and struggles to move on from their failed marriage.

However, as the series continues, Alex Delaware becomes more confident in himself and his abilities. He begins to form new relationships and build a life outside of his work with Detective Sturgis. He also becomes more comfortable with his role as a consultant in criminal investigations and starts to take on more active roles in solving cases.

Despite his growth, Alex Delaware still faces challenges and obstacles throughout the series. He is often thrust into dangerous situations and must use his wits and psychological expertise to stay alive and solve the case at hand.

The Setting of the Series

Los Angeles serves as the backdrop for the Alex Delaware series, and Kellerman does an excellent job of bringing the city to life. From the glitz and glamour of Hollywood to the seedy underbelly of the city’s criminal underworld, Kellerman paints a vivid picture of Los Angeles and its inhabitants.

Readers will recognize many of the city’s iconic landmarks and neighborhoods, from the Sunset Strip to Beverly Hills. Kellerman also explores some of the city’s lesser-known areas, shedding light on the diverse communities that make up Los Angeles.

The city itself often plays a role in the stories, with Kellerman using its unique geography and history to add depth and complexity to the narrative. Whether it’s the sprawling freeway system or the city’s history of corruption and scandal, Los Angeles is a character in its own right in the Alex Delaware series.

The Appeal of the Series

So, what makes the Alex Delaware series so popular among readers? For one, the characters are well-developed and relatable, with Alex Delaware serving as a particularly compelling protagonist. Readers will find themselves invested in his journey and eager to see how he grows and changes throughout the series.

The mysteries themselves are also well-crafted, with plenty of twists and turns to keep readers guessing until the very end. Kellerman is a master of suspense, and her writing keeps the reader on the edge of their seat.

Finally, the series’ setting in Los Angeles adds an additional layer of intrigue and excitement. The city’s unique culture and history provide a rich backdrop for the stories, and Kellerman uses it to great effect.

Overall, the Alex Delaware series is a must-read for fans of crime fiction and psychological thrillers. With over 30 books in the series, there’s plenty of material to keep readers engaged and entertained for years to come.

Top 5 Alex Delaware Books

Are you a fan of suspenseful crime novels? Have you heard of the Alex Delaware series? Created by author Jonathan Kellerman, the series follows the adventures of Dr. Alex Delaware, a child psychologist turned amateur detective, and his friend, LAPD detective Milo Sturgis. With over 30 books in the series, it can be hard to know where to start. That’s why we’ve compiled a list of the top 5 Alex Delaware books you should read.

When the Bough Breaks (1985)

When the Bough Breaks (An Alex Delaware Book 1)

As the first book in the series, When the Bough Breaks sets the stage for the subsequent novels. In this book, Alex meets Milo and becomes involved in a case where a child has been brutally murdered. As they delve into the investigation, they uncover dark secrets and unexpected twists that keep readers on the edge of their seats.

Blood Test (1986)

Blood Test (An Alex Delaware Book 2)

The second installment in the series, Blood Test, sees Alex and Milo investigating a case where a young boy is suffering from a life-threatening illness, and his parents are suspected to be responsible. As they work to uncover the truth, they are forced to confront their own personal demons and the complexities of family dynamics.

Over the Edge (1987)

Over the Edge (An Alex Delaware Book 3)

In Over the Edge, Alex and Milo investigate a mass shooting at a school. The investigation takes them on a journey into the psyche of the shooter and raises questions about mental health and responsibility. This book explores the difficult topic of school shootings and the impact they have on communities and individuals.

Silent Partner (1989)

Silent Partner: An Alex Delaware Novel

Silent Partner follows Alex and Milo as they investigate a case where a woman is murdered, and her husband is the primary suspect. However, as they delve deeper into the case, they uncover secrets that lead them down unexpected paths. This book explores the complexities of relationships and the lengths people will go to protect their loved ones.

Time Bomb (1990)

Time Bomb: An Alex Delaware Novel

The final book on our list, Time Bomb, follows Alex and Milo as they investigate a bombing at an exclusive private school. The investigation leads them on a dangerous path as they uncover a web of lies and deception. This book explores the themes of privilege, power, and the lengths people will go to maintain their status.

Whether you’re a long-time fan of the series or just discovering it for the first time, these five books are sure to keep you on the edge of your seat. So grab a copy, settle in, and get ready for a thrilling ride with Alex Delaware and Milo Sturgis.

Standalone Novels by Jonathan Kellerman

Jonathan Kellerman is a bestselling author known for his gripping crime novels. While he is most famous for his Alex Delaware series, he has also written several standalone novels that are just as thrilling. Let’s take a closer look at two of Kellerman’s standalone novels.

The Butcher’s Theater (1988)

The Butcher's Theater: A Novel

The Butcher’s Theater is a fascinating novel that takes place in Jerusalem. Kellerman’s vivid descriptions of the city’s streets and culture bring the setting to life, immersing readers in the story from the very first page. The novel follows two detectives as they investigate a string of murders that may be connected to the city’s history and politics. Kellerman weaves together a complex web of clues and suspects, keeping readers guessing until the very end. Along the way, he explores themes of religion, power, and corruption, making The Butcher’s Theater a thought-provoking read as well as a thrilling one.

The Conspiracy Club (2003)

The Conspiracy Club: A Novel (Kellerman, Jonathan)

The Conspiracy Club is another standalone novel by Kellerman that will keep you on the edge of your seat. The novel begins with the murder of a young woman, and her neighbor, a psychology professor, begins to investigate the crime. As she delves deeper, she uncovers a secret society and a dangerous conspiracy. Kellerman’s skillful pacing and intricate plotting make this novel a real page-turner. He also delves into the psychology of his characters, exploring their motivations and fears. The result is a novel that is not only suspenseful but also emotionally resonant.

In conclusion, while Jonathan Kellerman is best known for his Alex Delaware series, his standalone novels are just as compelling. The Butcher’s Theater and The Conspiracy Club are two excellent examples of Kellerman’s skill as a writer. If you’re a fan of crime fiction, be sure to add these novels to your reading list.


And there you have it – the top 7 Jonathan Kellerman books you should read, comprising both series and standalone novels. Whether you’re already a fan of Kellerman or are just discovering his works, these books are sure to keep you engaged and on the edge of your seat with their intricate plots and compelling characters.


What are the best Jonathan Kellerman books?

Jonathan Kellerman’s best works include When the Bough Breaks, The Golem of Hollywood, Blood Test, The Museum of Desire, and Dr. Death.

Is Jonathan Kellerman worth reading?

The ratings on Kellerman’s work are very high and he has received so much praise for his work. As of now, he has written over 40 crime novels and has also produced some excellent non-fiction and children’s books.

How old is Jonathan Kellerman?

He was born in 1949 and is now 73 years old.

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