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.
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