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Stone Kiss (Peter Decker & Rina Lazarus) Hardcover – July 30, 2002

3.8 out of 5 stars 131 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Family business can be deadly, as Peter Decker discovers in Kellerman's latest thriller starring the L.A. police lieutenant and his wife, Rina Lazarus. Decker's half-brother Jonathan, a New York rabbi, asks for help when his wife's brother Ephraim Leiber is slain execution-style in a seedy New York hotel room, and the victim's teenage niece Shayndie, who may have witnessed her uncle's murder, disappears. But it soon becomes apparent that not everyone is as eager for Decker's assistance as Jonathan--not the New York City cops, not the missing girl's parents, and not the police chief in the upstate town of Quinton, where the Liebers live in a tightly knit Orthodox Jewish enclave. Despite these roadblocks, the ever resourceful Decker manages to locate Shayndie in the last place one might expect to find a devout, gently raised 15-year old girl--the heavily guarded Manhattan apartment of Chris Donatti, a Mob-connected criminal with whom Peter has a complicated history. But when Shayndie runs away from Donatti's loft and turns up dead a few days later, Decker's search for her killer uncovers a deadly family secret that puts his life--and Rina's--in jeopardy. As usual in this outstanding series, Kellerman's pacing is flawless, her plotting ingenious, and her deep understanding of human nature reconfirmed. --Jane Adams

From Publishers Weekly

Raw. Brutal. Ugly. And, of course, riveting. L.A. homicide detective Peter Decker, an orthodox Jew, answers a call for help from his half-brother, Jonathan, in this 14th tale (after 2001's The Forgotten) from bestseller Kellerman. Ephraim Lieber, Jonathan's brother-in-law, has been found murdered in a seedy Manhattan hotel. Ephraim's 15-year-old niece, Shaynda, who was supposed to be with him, is missing. Reluctantly, Peter agrees to fly to New York to assess the situation, advise the family and perhaps consult with the police investigating the crime. Wife Rina and daughter Hannah accompany him to make the trip something of a vacation as well. The bare questions of the case are difficult and delicate enough (had Ephraim, a recovering drug addict, backslid? was his relationship with Shaynda abusive? what part did other family relationships play?). Peter is quickly caught up in a desperate attempt to find and save the girl while battling an intransigent family, unfamiliar territory and reckless killers. Worse, his best ally in this impossible situation is Chris Donatti, first encountered in Justice (1995), a psychotic, mob-connected killer and maker of pornographic films. Whether Kellerman is depicting the ultra-Orthodox Jewish community or a pornographer's studio, she is utterly convincing. Amid the wreckage of lives taken or thrown away, Kellerman's heroes find glimmers of hope and enough moral ambiguity to make even her most evil villain look less than totally black.
Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

Product Details

  • Series: Peter Decker & Rina Lazarus (Book 14)
  • Hardcover: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Grand Central Publishing (July 30, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0446530387
  • ISBN-13: 978-0446530385
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (131 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #810,738 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: Hardcover
I read one or two books a week. I've never felt compelled to write a review before, but even prior to finishing this book I knew I'd write this one. To my mind, this book was *the* best in the series! Imagine my surprise to come online and discover the negative reviews.
I have to disagree with several of the previous reviewers. I thought this book was fabulous. Yes, it was dark. Yes, it was complex. Yes, it was filled with subtext about the Hassidic community. Yes, there were many intertwining subplots. These are the things I loved about it. I can't remember the last time I finished a book feeling so totally sated.
I tend to choose authors who write series with specific protagonists. Too often, I feel that the first book or two, the author feels they have said all they can say about the character(s) and their enviroment, and the books are reduced to simply action plots. "Stone Kiss" not only gives us plot, but a richer understanding of the main characters. The story isn't simply placed in an unusual community; it is exciting to watch the characters interact with the community, to assimilate this information into our understanding of who Decker and Lazurus are. The writing was tight, and perfect. I haven't enjoyed a book this much in a long, long time.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
on Faye Kellerman's 14th book in the Decker/Lazarus series, "Stone Kiss". "Justice", an earlier novel, featured a colorful character named Chris Donatti. While I applaud Kellerman for bringing him back -- a complex character, with a love/hate relationship with Peter Decker; I wish she hadn't chosen New York as the setting.
Kellerman has moved Decker to the Big Apple to help family before; but this one's a stretch. He's there to help his half-brother Jonathan's family find Jon's neice -- a girl by the name of Shayndie Lieber (whose brief appearance does nothing to make her character believable!) Decker's dealing with ultra-Orthodox Jews, and, unfortunately, there is little positive about the sect he tries to help, and far too much detail in this plot. Although it is the primary plot, it grows boring, and the reader turns to the evolving clash between Decker and Donatti, who is surprisingly involved on the fringes of Shayndie's disappearance.
Over the top, as well, are the tales of Rina and her endless quest for shopping in the Big Apple - and the contrived plot of his staying in New York, well past the time he should have gone south with her. Weaving in a relationship between Rina and Donatti didn't help the novel, it hurt.
I still love this series, and love to explore what I can learn about the Jewish faith from Kellerman's characters. But Peter's a homicide Lieutenant in southern California....and there should be many, many untold stories to be resolved there, surrounded by the interesting people in his squad.
Things that saved 3 stars, other than Donatti were the amount of time Kellerman spent fleshing out the character of Randy, Decker's real brother...and I couldn't help but enjoy the twist at the end of the novel on another former Kellerman villain...Steven Gilbert. Enough said!
Wait for the paperback, or go to the library for this one!
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Format: Hardcover
With more than a dozen entries in the Peter Decker/Rina Lazarus series, certainly each new book by Faye Kellerman is anxiously awaited by her fans. We have learned to tolerate a good deal of "discussion" (promotion?) of the Jewish faith as part of her stories because we love her characters, especially the lead couple, and the suspenseful mysteries which normally surround them. However, "Stone Kiss" left us a little cold on two fronts.
First, the illumination of Orthodox Judaism, this time especially the very strict Chasidic practices, is so dominant in this story it gets tiresome and annoying. The mystery involves a number of relatives and half-brothers and so on, but at times we began wondering if Kellerman was taking up for, or trying to demean, the lives and mores of this group. Before it's all over, various of the Chasidic men turn out to be smugglers, dopers, customers of prostitution, etc. If this was meant to suggest "we're all human", it was lost on us.
Secondly, the story is dark and confusing. Rina has such a small part she might as well have just been on vacation -- we could have saved several pages of her shopping and mixing with the family and so forth while she visits the old homesteads in NYC. The co-star (with Decker) is really a porno-king criminal named Chis Donatti, whose role and relationships with Decker are reprised from Kellerman's earlier book "Justice" (and we suggest you read that story first if you missed it). While Decker is trying to help the family find a missing teenager and niece of the murdered brother, Donatti keeps showing up at one location after another throughout every section of the book.
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The story had a good start with Peter being called to New York to help his relatives with a murder and disappearance. It was interesting to see him away from his normal LA surroundings and be a "fish out of water" in New York.
But, the actual mystery part of the story was buried under a lot of confusing circumstances and way too many characters. Since, the story takes place somewhere other than Peter's normal beat, the majority of the characters were new to us. Too many new people were included. There were lots and lots of relatives - half brothers and sisters, Peter's biological mother, parents of Rina's dead husband, Peter's adopted brother, Peter's adoptive parents plus a lot of in-laws of some branch of the family. There were new characters of police officers of various New York towns and several characters from previous Faye Kellerman novels. I want a story to be deep and interesting, but these new people were too much trouble to try to keep straight.
I enjoy the Jewish aspect and perspective of these books. It really is an education for me. But, in this book, the Jewish names, nicknames, customs, language and rituals really overwhelmed the mystery part of the story. A lot of the characters were called by their given name in one sentence and then were called by a nickname in the next sentence. As many of these characters were new, it took me a while to figure out that a lot of them had 2 names - a regular one and a nickname. Faye Kellerman could have helped us as readers if she would have some how explained or indicated that many of her characters had nicknames. For quite a while, I thought there were even more new people than there actually were. I finally figured out that more than one name was being used to denote the same person.
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