Mental illness, homelessness, family rivalries, & murder fill the pages of Breakdown with a host of issues to sort through. Add to the mix our two familiar characters, Dr. Alex Delaware and his police lieutenant cohort Milo Sturgis, and you’re in for a real treat.
Set in LA, our story begins with a woman unraveling in a Bel Air backyard, a mental health intervention, and Alex’s input in order to figure out what to do next.
Alex’s involvement actually started years before when a colleague, Dr. Lou Sherman, asked him to evaluate a young boy named Ovid, whose mother suffered episodes of mental illness, possibly bipolar with schizophrenic aspects. An actress, Zelda Chase, who was on a popular TV show.
Now, as our story opens, we discover that Zelda had deteriorated further, there was no sign of Ovid anywhere, and shortly after Alex found a placement for the woman, she disappeared. Her death a short time later was riddled with uncertainties. Why had Zelda ended up in an upscale neighborhood where she was digging in the dirt and muttering “mother”? What, if anything, connected the property owner Enid DePauw, to the troubled young woman? When more and more women go missing, the connections become harder to put together.
Naturally, Alex and Milo start digging, and the fun in a story that pairs the two of them is watching them take whatever steps are necessary to find the answers. Before the story ended, we would have more than enough answers, but they would be surprising ones. Or possibly not so surprising, when one considers what motivates people who feel threatened in some way.
I always find myself glued to the pages of a book with Alex and Milo, and in addition to watching the two of them work their cases, I enjoy the peeks into their home lives…and their friendship with each other. A delightful read earning 5 stars.