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Day of Atonement: A Decker/Lazarus Novel (Decker/Lazarus Novels) Mass Market Paperback – January 25, 2011

4.3 out of 5 stars 88 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Kellerman's fourth mystery to feature Peter Decker and Rina Lazarus, last seen in Milk and Honey , begins in the Orthodox Jewish community of Boro Park, Brooklyn (N.Y.), where the newlyweds have traveled to celebrate the High Holy Days with Rina's family and that of her late first husband. Early on, Peter, a detective with the LAPD, makes a deeply troubling discovery about his own family, which he is unable to pursue when the disappearance of one of the community's teenage boys commands his attention. Peter learns that the youngster has been befriended by a disturbed man, and the hunt takes Peter out of the tight-knit Jewish neighborhood and. with Rina, eventually back to L.A. There, the boy's involvement with crime and the deteriorating state of his companion add urgency to a search that culminates in a dangerous encounter on the deserted outskirts of the airport. The plight of the lost youth is less compelling than the conflicts faced by Peter as he struggles with unsettling consequences of his past, the demands of his newly adopted religion and the personal vagaries of his much-loved, independent Rina. The odd couple of the genre remains interesting, but this adventure lacks the passion and suspense of earlier outings.
Copyright 1991 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Library Journal

When Los Angeles detective Peter Decker and new wife Rina Lazarus visit her Jewish kinfolks in Brooklyn, startling events disturb their honeymoon. Quite unexpectedly and with great antipathy, Decker--an adoptee--recognizes his natural mother at a holiday gathering. Before he can confront her, though, her troubled 14-year-old grandson goes missing and Decker, fortuitously on hand, begins the search. Soon after he learns that the boy has taken up with a dangerously disturbed and vicious young man, the scene switches to Los Angeles. Hard-hitting details, vignettes of Jewish life, and uncomfortably close glimpses of a cold-hearted psycho make this an entrancing page turner. Not to be missed.
Copyright 1991 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Series: Decker/Lazarus Novels (Book 4)
  • Mass Market Paperback: 496 pages
  • Publisher: Harper; Reprint edition (January 25, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 006199927X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0061999277
  • Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 1.1 x 7.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (88 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #314,370 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Faye Kellerman is the author of twenty-six novels, including nineteen New York Times bestselling mysteries that feature the husband-and-wife team of Peter Decker and Rina Lazarus. She has also penned two best selling short novels with her husband, New York Times bestselling author Jonathan Kellerman, and recently has teamed up with her daughter, Aliza, to co-write a teen novel, entitled PRISM. She lives in Los Angeles, California, and Santa Fe, New Mexico.

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
After reading one Peter Decker/Rina Lazarus novel almost by accident, I was immediately hooked on this series. Peter, Rina, and their family and colleagues are characters of depth, endearingly human, honest, and appealing. Every novel in this series is a winner, and I especially liked Day of Atonement. Not only is it an engrossing, gritty, edge-of-the-seat detective novel, it is also a heartfelt story of complex emotional relationships. The setting within the Orthodox Jewish community--still an ongoing mystery to semi-outsider, LAPD detective Peter Decker--seems to the reader much as it does to him: a fascinating, perplexing, comforting, challenging world. This reader--coincidentally the parent of an adult adopted son--was intrigued and deeply touched by the subplot of Peter's struggle to deal emotionally with his own adoption. It is rare to find as compelling a storyteller as Faye Kellerman!
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
The forth book in Fay Kellerman's Decker/Lazarus series, "Day of Atonement," takes them to Brooklyn, New York on their honeymoon. "Not the honeymoon Decker had imagined." It's not he best of all situations. He's staying in the crowded home of the parents of Rina's late husband. It's Rosh Hashanah which makes the situation more difficult. The spirit and holiness of the holidays is shattered when Noam, Rina's cousin, runs away. Runaways is one of Decker's specialties but although he is clad in a yarmulke he is still the stranger in the Orthodox community of Crown Heights, Brooklyn The search for the teenager links him to a psychopath and trail which leads him back to Los Angles and murder. "Day of Atonement," is the best of the series to date.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
There really isn't a whole lot of suspense in the book. It is almost impossible to not know what is going to happen at the end, though I will not tell you anyway. The book focuses on a disaffected Orthodox Jewish youth who gets mixed up with a psychopath. Although it discusses some of the issues, in general, as to what could cause this young man to act as he does, it really talks more about why the psycho is crazy than why the youth runs away from home.
The ability for the hero of the tome, Peter Decker to find his quarry is beyond belief, even for Hollywood. The guy obviously has the hearing of a canine in being able to tell what street corner the kid is calling from.
There is an interesting and gripping adoption line as well. Decker is adopted, was born Jewish, brought up Baptist, and now married into an ultra-Orthodox family. I have not read the other books in the series, but how he really feels about that could have been better developed as well.
Overall, the book was simple to figure out, but the writing was good enough and close enough to home to me to give it three stars.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
In this series, Faye Kellerman gives us exciting stories, likable protagonists in Peter Decker and Rina Lazarus, and an interesting picture of Orthodox Jewish life. The only thing that mars the series is the ugly language employed whenever Decker gets together with his LAPD colleagues. I guess this is in there because it's "realistic," but I for one don't need such realism in my recreational reading. (I've found it's possible to skim over most of this dialogue without losing track of the story.) "Day of Atonement" is my favorite of the series so far. Not only is it a compelling story involving the search for a teenage boy who runs away from his Orthodox community in New York; much of the action takes place away from Los Angeles and thus we are largely spared the unpleasant conversations of the cops.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
Faye Kellerman has the ability to involve the reader from page one. Her entire series of Peter Decker/Rina Lazarus books are spellbinders. She follows the relationship between Peter and Rina from when they first met in Ritual Bath through to Prayers for the Dead. She weaves her books beautifully around the life of orthodox Jews and those who are both less religous and those who are not Jewish. You watch the characters grow from the first word to the last. I always end her books wanting to read another
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I discovered this series many years ago and Faye Kellerman became one of the authors that I thereafter bought in hardback. (Actually now I am re-buying everything on Kindle as I have run out of room in my house for all the books!) In general, I really like the Decker/Lazarus series. Usually I find the characters engaging, although Rina is a little too perfect. (Does anyone else feel that way?) This book, though, I found almost unbearably slow. For me, it was too much of a coincidence that the search for Noam and the sociopath led right back to L.A., where, surprise surprise, Decker would be returning. (And of course the other coincidences at the beginning of the book, especially the major one, were just too much -- am trying not to give away the "big surprise.")

The biggest problem, though, was that when I got about 30-40% into the book, I WAS STILL WAITING FOR SOME INTERESTING STORYLINE TO BE INTRODUCED. Then it dawned on me, the search for Noam WAS the story. That was IT. I didn't much care for the kid and of course hated the sociopath he had decided to hang out with, although it was so obvious that you were SUPPOSED to hate the sociopath and somehow feel sorry for the idiot kid Noam. (Do the characters sound one-dimensional? That's how they seemed to me.)

Another major problem with this book was the relationship between Pete and Rina. Rina was always going off and doing incredibly dangerous, incredibly STUPID things that I just don't believe anyone would do. And her husband treated her like a 4-year-old. Toward the end he does something to her that is so asinine (you will know what I am referring to if you read this book) that I almost gave up on the book altogether -- I finished it only because that "incident" happened near the end.
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