PUBLISHED : Sunday, 17 May, 2009, 12:00am
UPDATED : Sunday, 17 May, 2009, 12:00am


by Jonathan Kellerman

Headline, HK$91

The Kellerman crime dynasty of Jonathan, Faye and son Jesse is becoming successful enough for the Corleones to sit up and take notice. Now onto his 23rd Alex Delaware mystery, 'Big Daddy' Jonathan has fashioned one of the most successful series of modern times. Rather than spend his dotage hacking around a golf course, Delaware, a retired psychologist, uses his senior's bus pass to solve murders - with a little help from Milo Sturgis, a detective whose mobile phone beeps the opening bars of My Way. In Bones, the dead-eyed duo investigate a serial killer - what else? - who graduates from dumping a prostitute in Los Angeles' marshland to dumping the bodies of three more women around the city. It's a hobby, I suppose. Delaware is asked to draw up a profile (all the victims are missing a hand), only to have his blueprint shot to pieces when the killer deviates from his pattern: the fourth victim is not a prostitute. Is there more than one killer at work? Or just a single, devious one? While Kellerman's prose is regulation modern crime fiction, the plot meanders like a snake that has lost its sense of direction. Bones is enjoyable, if not first rate.