The central dinner in Jonathan Kellerman's The Conspiracy Club -- hosted by five elderly epicureans -- features foie gras, ample wine, and an elliptical debate on the roots of violence. Dr. Jeremy Carrier is unsure why he was invited, except that he has direct experience with evil: His girlfriend was murdered, and the brilliant psychologist is unable to cope. As more women turn up dead, he'll have to. Not only is he a suspect, but he's receiving clues from an anonymous tipster. Taking a break from his Alex Delaware series, Kellerman creates an eerie world of hushed hospital corridors, crumbling neighborhoods, and numb psyches. The bruised Carrier makes a refreshingly delicate hero, the possibility of his redemption almost as tantalizing as the mystery itself.