Museum of Desire – Book Review

Alex Delaware #35 by Johnathan Kellerman
Published on: February 4, 2020

The detective and psychologist duo of Lieutenant Milo Sturgis and Dr. Alex Delaware team up again to investigate a disturbing crime scene where the victims are unrelated and feel random and yet everyone knows they are not.


LAPD Lieutenant Milo Sturgis has solved a lot of murder cases. On many of them—the ones he calls “different”—he taps the brain of brilliant psychologist Dr. Alex Delaware. But neither Alex nor Milo are prepared for what they find on an early morning call to a deserted mansion in Bel Air. This one’s beyond different. This is predation, premeditation, and cruelty on a whole new level.

Four people have been slaughtered and left displayed bizarrely and horrifically in a stretch limousine. Confounding the investigation, none of the victims seems to have any connection to any other, and a variety of methods have been used to dispatch them. As Alex and Milo make their way through blind alleys and mazes baited with misdirection, they encounter a crime so vicious that it stretches the definitions of evil.


The Museum of Desire starts off with an after-party house cleaner discovering the gruesome murders of four individuals in a car out front of the mansion he has been assigned to clean. The crime scene has a very distinctive manner about it so Dr. Alex Delaware is brought in to assist Milo with the investigation. While the scene itself has them scratching their heads into its meaning, they both are fairly perplexed about the randomness of the victims. They are seemingly different individuals and who they are and how they are associated with each other (or who they are to the murderer) leaves them with many avenues to follow. But all Milo and Alex can do is go with the one with the largest trail to follow and see where it leads.

Although this is book #35 in the series, this is my first Dr. Alex Delaware novel. I’m not sure how I keep finding popular series that I’ve haven’t had the chance to enjoy yet, but I do. Although the murder setup is an interesting and integral part of the story, it never overwhelmed it or became too much for the rest of the book to live up to. Instead, we see Milo and Alex spend a great deal of time just trying to find the basics on each of the victims. Nothing is handed to them, or at least most of the time it isn’t. They would learn a little about someone, but never enough to get a full picture or know exactly what to do with what they’ve learned except to it add it to the other puzzle pieces they’ve gathered. It was a slow process that I rather enjoyed. The murder is shocking, but thankfully I enjoyed that the detective part of it shined and showed through.

Overall, I found the story pretty enjoyable. What really impressed me was the title and how it pertained to the title. Recently, I’ve read a few thrillers where the title didn’t quite go with the story or was more of an eye-catcher type of title. This one actually has some significance, so thanks.

Rating: 4 stars

Thanks to Netgalley and Random House Publishing Group – Ballantine for the advanced reader copy and opportunity to provide an honest review.

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