The Conspiracy Club

by Jonathan Kellerman

Reviewed by Coral

Dr. Jeremy Carrier is a psychologist who has been retreating from life ever since his lover, Jocelyn Banks, was brutally murdered. Nothing had been getting in the way of this plan until pathologist Arthur Chess comes into his life, determined to forge the bonds of friendship.

Now Jeremy is being dragged forcibly back into life, as Arthur introduces him to his group of friends, the CCC, nurse Angela Rios takes an interest in him, weird newspaper clippings begin arriving in his mail, and a murder similar to Jocelyn's occurs, bringing the police knocking on his door once more.

The plot moves at a snail's pace, and is barely cohesive overall. There's more pages spent on Angela and Jeremy's relationship and Jeremy's interaction with various patients than on the murder itself. I'm sorry, but this was a mystery book right? I didn't pick this up for romance or drama, I want a mystery I can pretend I have a chance at solving.

Arthur and his friends, the CCC, fell flat to me. Since we don't learn anything about their histories until the end (apparently, for all his internet searches, Jeremy is unable to locate the correct stories until being pointed in the right direction) it's hard to connect with them as characters. And since they won't just come out and tell Jeremy about themselves pages and pages are wasted on futile searches into their pasts. (I had hoped that after The Murder Book, Kellerman would have retired his internet searches as the main means of solving crime plot device). How ridiculous is it that Jeremy was unable to get any hits from one of the CCC's pseudonyms? Has Kellerman not heard of Amazon? Man, I can get thousands of hits for every author name I feed in to Google.

For a psychologist Jeremy sure doesn't know how to read people. He makes all these assumptions and is wrong nearly every time. Sure, it was a nice change of pace from the never-wrong Alex Delaware, but it's hard to believe a psychologist can be so pathetic with his "insights" into the people he meets.

Angela's another pathetic female character, still conforming to all the stereotypes for women I described in my review of A Cold Heart.

Maybe it might be what most people think, but I don't get why Jeremy is so surprised that a man like Arthur is a pathologist. After watching shows like Crossing Jordan and C.S.I. Miami I guess I have a much different idea of pathologists and coroners.

I don't understand why Kellerman makes such a big deal about a black woman having a Polish last name. Has Kellerman never watched soccer (truly the sport that can give you the clearest idea about a foreign country's multi-cultural tapestry)? I mean Rio Ferdinand is English. Alessandro Santos is Japanese. And then there's Clinton Morrison, Robbie Earnshaw, Edgar Davids and Mario Melchiot who, despite being, respectively, Irish, Welsh, Dutch and Dutch are all black.

You know Kellerman, the world is changing. Maybe you should try keeping up.


Grade: F