The Museum of Desire is the 35th entry in the Alex Delaware series. It is an excellent thriller that is highly recommended!
It’s just after 6 a.m. on a Sunday, when ex-con Eno is walking up a long driveway to a mansion above Benedict Canyon. Eno cleans houses for a minimal living. But he is daydreaming of advancing his career with some holdups as soon as he can get a hoodie and a gun. The mansion is a party house and he dreads the red plastic cups and used condoms he expects to find there. Then he sees the stretch limo parked in the backyard. Thinking to find someone inside sleeping it off, he knocks. When there is no answer, he opens the driver door. He finds the chauffeur dead and covered in blood from the waist down. Gagging, he slams the door and opens the rear door. Three more bodies await him also awash in blood. He slams that door and promptly loses his breakfast on the ground. Time for even cop-shy Eno to call 911.
Lieutenant Milo Sturgis, a LAPD lead detective, is called to the scene. He, in turn, calls his friend and colleague, Dr. Alex Delaware. Alex, a clinical psychologist who frequently helps the LAPD, says the scene appears staged. Together, they investigate the seemingly unrelated victims’ background. All were last seen on Friday but were killed late Saturday. Where were they for the missing hours? How were the victims selected? What does the posed scenario represent? And who did the crime? Alex and Milo investigate in the Museum of Desire.
I confess I have read all the books in the Alex Delaware series and loved most of them. At this point Milo and Alex feel like family members that I am eager to catch up with on the single annual holiday dinner. However, enough backstory is included in this book—but not too much—that it can easily be read as a standalone.
Compared to other books in the series, and most thrillers I have read recently, the murder and especially the motive is both darkly perverted and very unique. I adore that the book explains the underlying psychology of both the victims and the suspects. Unraveling the mystery was challenging too.
Overall, the Museum of Desire is an original and engrossing peak into a usually hidden world. It’s also one of the best in the series so far. 5 stars and another of my favorites this year!
Thanks to Ballantine Books, Random House and NetGalley for a copy in exchange for my honest review.
Also, see my review of the Night Moves for another excellent entry in the series.