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Compulsion

Compulsion

Alex Delaware thrillers typically have a swollen first half with disparate mysteries that seem unlikely to fall together, then a fast-paced, bow-tidy second half. The police psychologist’s latest outing follows suit — he’s chasing a chameleon psycho who’s cut open victims from San Francisco to NYC — but mixes in an unnecessary cold-case subplot. Jonathan Kellerman is best in Compulsion when fleshing out his characters with spirited details (one vixen has ”tarantulous eyelashes”) or adding intrigue via the killer’s twisted, cross-dressing motive. In the end, Delaware’s 22nd appearance brings some majorly unexpected whammies. B+

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