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Blood Test

An Alex Delaware Novel
Narrated by: Alexander Adams
Series: Alex Delaware, Book 2
Length: 8 hrs and 54 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (5 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

It is a case unlike any psychologist Dr. Alex Delaware has ever encountered. Five-year-old Woody Swope is ill, but the real problem is his parents. They refuse to agree to the one treatment that could save this boy's life.

Alex sets out to convince Mr. and Mrs. Swope - only to find that the parents have left the hospital and taken their son with them. Worse, the sleazy motel room where the Swopes were staying is empty - except for the ominous bloodstain. The Swopes and their son have vanished into the sordid shadows of the city.

Now Alex and his friend, homocide detective Milo Sturgis, have no choice but to push the law to the breaking point. They've entered an amoral underworld where drugs, dreams, and sex are all for sale...where fantasies are fulfilled at any price - even at the cost of a young boy's life.

©2010 Jonathan Kellerman (P)2012 Random House Audio

Critic Reviews

"A suspenseful thriller whose solution lies in the darker recesses of the human soul." (The Wall Street Journal)
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Profile Image for Pamela Dale Foster
  • Pamela Dale Foster
  • 03-08-2013

Sad, Sad Story of Life

What did you love best about Blood Test?

Love is not the best word to describe the book, Blood Test. There was incest, sexual abuse by other's, cruelty and childhood cancer. Those are tough topics to be dealt with all in one book. Other issues were drugs, cults and murder. I am here to tell you, if I had to deal with those issues frequently, I would burn out. Woody was a child of five, who was diagnosed with cancer. There is a high probability, that if Woody starts treatment immediately, his chances are good. Woody is the son of his sister, Nona, who gave birth at fifteen. Her parent's would not allow her to be Nona's son. The other tough issues come into play in other parts of the novel. All of those topics are woven into the novel that do create some tough learning about our society.

What did you like best about this story?

The story is a real eye-opener. I know about all of these issues in a singular context but having never experienced them myself, I don't know how I would have adjusted or if I could have adjusted. Yes, there were many character's in the book but Nona has been destroyed. There were the two character's who step in to help, the child psychologist Alex and his friend, Detective Milo Sturgis. The doctor's and nurse's and other help at the hospital were there to help too. The character development is good. There are reasons for why these people in the novel are the way they are. However, I would have to use deductive reasoning and declare the perpetrator has a mental illness, antisocial personality or use the DSM IV to figure out the diagnosis. It's a tough story to listen to.

Which character – as performed by Alexander Adams – was your favorite?

The character I liked best only said fifteen or less words in the novel and that was the young boy, Woody Swope. He was sick and did his best to follow along with what the other's were making him do. You have to remember, being only five, he had no voice to object. The narrator, Alexander Adams, did make the reader aware of how sick Woody was just by narrating the words written by the author.

If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

The film would have to have a tag line that I think would hurt the movie. I know the film would definitely bring emotions from deep inside myself that I don't know if I would be able to stay and watch the film. Listening to the book was okay but seeing it acted out would not be good for me. However, I'll attempt a tag line. The Journey Through a Damaged World Creates Chaos.

Any additional comments?

I hope that the next book in the series does not deal with such heavy topics.

4 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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Profile Image for TDintheED
  • TDintheED
  • 09-08-2013

Too choppy - made me think it was abridged.

Would you try another book from Jonathan Kellerman and/or Alexander Adams?

Absolutely. This was only my second JK book. I started with When the Bough Breaks and plan on listening to the entire series. I really enjoy Adams' narrations.

Has Blood Test turned you off from other books in this genre?

Nah. It was pretty rough, content wise, but I feel that makes books more interesting. It's a psychological thriller - I am not expecting to read about regular old murder.

What about Alexander Adams’s performance did you like?

He has a great pace in story telling. He isn't overly dramatic, yet he still gets the inflection for each character just right.

Any additional comments?

The reason I rated this one so low, is because Kellerman doesn't explain enough. When listening, I kept rewinding or going back a chapter because I thought I had missed pieces of the puzzle. All of a sudden Delaware is making proclamations that are out of left field. It was so choppy that I actually thought I had purchased the abridged version. In any thriller/mystery, especially psychological, I want time to think about what may be happening - I appreciated this in When the Bough Breaks - each step was logical and tied together. In Blood Test, it felt as though Kellerman wasn't able to generate the story to lead-up to his conclusion, so he throws it all together in a monologue in the next-to-last chapter. I was riding in my car completely baffled and confused, truly feeling as though I skipped to the second part of the book.

3 people found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 06-03-2018

"Blood Test" Passes with Flying Colors

Jonathan Kellerman has not disappointed me yet. from start to finish you're guaranteed a great story.

1 person found this helpful

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Profile Image for Paul Gomez
  • Paul Gomez
  • 15-01-2015

Straightforward Detective Story

Did the plot keep you on the edge of your seat? How?

There were some definite twists and turns. Some of those surprises can see coming, and others not so much.

Any additional comments?

Overall, I thought it was a good story that is pleasing to listen to. If you are into the classic detective story, then this is pretty close to what you would expect.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Avid Reader
  • 29-05-2020

Disappointing

The book is quite short but the plot is convoluted with the ending stretching credulity.

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  • A Customer
  • 20-03-2020

Decent mystery storyline, but . . .

I read this book in library hardcover years ago, and now whilst in #ShelterinPlace mode, I listened to the Audible version. At first, I didn’t have a problem, but as the book progressed, narrator’s voice-acting reminded me of a very-dated, hard-boiled detective book.

The mystery storyline is decent, but at first the book was depressing because of child cancer paired w the patient’s unlikable parents. I didn’t like the last third, because of the horrendous amount of child abuse, sexually deviant churchers, heavy drug use, bizarre botany experiments, and an unbelievable DEA-type action w a psychologist as the star. Mr. Kellerman has done much better.

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Profile Image for Jack Evans
  • Jack Evans
  • 31-01-2019

2nd in series.

Nice book. Good story with plot twists that make you keep thinking. Second in series of Delaware novels! It’s fun “reading” them again!

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Kindle Customer
  • 02-06-2018

Blood Test Grabs you and holds you until The End. Fast paced, and good story line.😬 Loved It.

Alex is still my favorite character. One of the only books my husband has read and even finished. He enjoyed plot, story, and finish. I would recommend this book to anyone and be proud of my choice.

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Profile Image for Crystal Hatley
  • Crystal Hatley
  • 06-12-2016

Great read.

Loved it, like all the Alex Delaware stories. Would definitely recommend for mystery and suspense lovers.

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    4 out of 5 stars
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Profile Image for C. Hillard
  • C. Hillard
  • 01-05-2016

Loved the narrator and intriguing story!

I thought I had read every Kellerman novel but am happy I missed this one! The plot was twisted, the characters unique and the botanical research very interesting.

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  • sarah
  • 19-11-2015

Fantastic read

Great story, keeps you guessing to the end.
Another triumph for Jonathan Kellerman.
Couldn't put it down.