.....Advertisement.....
.....Advertisement.....

The Wedding Guest

-A A +A
By The Staff

Pat Wellington

The Wedding Guest

By Jonathan Kellerman

The wedding reception is held in a former strip joint in a seedy building and the invitations urge everyone to dress “hot.” L.A. psychologist Alex Delaware, a guest at the wedding, is looking for a bathroom when she stumbles upon a corpse.  It seems the young woman has answered the call to dress hot in her designer red dress and shoes.  At first, Alex thinks the girl has passed out on the toilet. But a second look reveals that she is quite dead, having been strangled after being injected with fentanyl.

The discovery creates chaos with the bride, nicknamed Baby, who wails hysterically that someone deliberately ruined her big day. How could someone ruin her wedding like this? How thoughtless. They should have killed that woman somewhere else. Or maybe on a different day. Neither the bride’s side nor the groom’s have any idea who the woman could be.

The police investigation notes that the victim and the bridegroom are about the same age. And so they delve into his past but come up empty. Then they look at the groom’s father because several of his female employees had complained about unwanted attentions from him. Failing there as well they turn to the former owner and employees of the strip joint with predictable lines of inquiry. They eventually identify the victim as 31-year-old Suzanne DaCosta but she has no known links to the newlyweds.

As a child psychiatrist Kellerman has the knowledge and experience to create quirky but believable characters. The pace of the novel is brisk with the requisite number of twists and turns to keep the reader engaged.

But it is the conclusion and the solving of the mystery that disappoints. Only a scant number of clues provide for such an ending that seems improbable.