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The Burnt House: A Peter Decker/Rina Lazarus Novel (Decker/Lazarus Novels) Hardcover – August 7, 2007


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Product Details

  • Series: Decker/Lazarus Novels
  • Hardcover: 448 pages
  • Publisher: William Morrow (August 7, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0061227323
  • ISBN-13: 978-0061227325
  • Product Dimensions: 1.4 x 6.3 x 9.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (122 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,303,731 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

A coincidence so improbable that a character comments on it renders bestseller Kellerman's 16th novel to feature Lt. Peter Decker of the LAPD and wife Rina Lazarus (after 2003's Street Dreams) one of the series' lesser entries. After a commuter airplane crashes into an apartment building shortly after takeoff from Burbank Airport, Decker and his team investigate what many fear was a terrorist attack. Meanwhile, the parents of Roseanne Dresden, a flight attendant, suspect that their daughter was murdered by her stockbroker husband, Ivan, who claims his wife joined the doomed flight at the last minute. Roseanne was considering divorce, and Ivan stood to lose financially. As the probes into the crash and into Roseanne's fate converge, readers will find it a challenge to suspend disbelief. Fans of the extended Decker-Lazarus clan will enjoy catching up with old friends, but those looking for a plausible police procedural may be disappointed. (Aug.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Review

Praise for Faye Kellerman: 'Very exciting.' Daily Mail 'Brutal but thoughtful and well-plotted, fast-moving and well told.' Observer 'Sensational.' Mirror 'Kellerman creates a claustrophobic atmosphere, against a background of seediness, violence and distrust.' Sunday Telegraph 'Kellerman moves her gritty mean streets LA plot along with breakneck pace.' Irish Independent --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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

I would certainly suggest that this book is worth reading.
maddi
A very good story line, held your interest, and kept you guessing the finish.
Cheryl Best
This book was a big disappointment - the plot was just too implausible.
TeriG

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

26 of 26 people found the following review helpful By Karen Potts on August 18, 2007
Format: Hardcover
Having read the other books in this series and having waited almost 2 years for this book, I was really looking forward to this latest entry about Peter Decker and Rina Lazarus. Unfortunately, it was somewhat of a letdown. One of Faye Kellerman's strengths is weaving the home life of Peter and Rina in with Peter's professional life as an LAPD Lieutenant. Although some time has passed since the last book, Kellerman fails to fill us in fully on the family. Rina's boys are absent, Hannah's teenage angst is hinted at but never fully developed and Peter's daughter Cindy and her husband make quick appearances. Part of the charm of this series is the description of what it's like living in Peter and Rina's Orthodox Jewish home, but the explanation of customs is missing in this book. As to the mystery, it rests on some pretty far-fetched coincidences. The ending comes with a whimper, after a few red herrings, and is never fully resolved. Hopefully, the next book will be better.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Ted Feit VINE VOICE on July 17, 2008
Format: Hardcover
The return of Peter and Rina Decker is always welcome. It combines good police procedure and the smell of good food. This novel is no exception. It begins with the crash of a small commuter plane out of Burbank (Bob Hope) airport early one morning and the supposed death of an airline steward. When all the victims are accounted for, her body is not identified, although the remains of bones beneath the destroyed structure into which the plane plunged are discovered.

Thus begins the hunt for the truth behind the disappearance of two women. The skeleton is finally identified as someone gone missing thirty years before. The stewardess' body remains the subject of a continued search. Is the husband somehow responsible for her disappearance or even her possible murder? Or is it a contractor in San Jose with whom she had a brief affair? What started out as two unrelated incidents draws Decker and his team back and forth to San Jose and New Mexico in an effort to uncover 30-year-old information in attempt to solve the cases.

With more questions than answers the investigation unearths more dead ends than answers. But perseverance is virtue that pays off in the end. And the interrelationship of Peter and Rina is on display deeply, as she provides a sounding board to guide him both supernaturally and professionally. Tightly plotted and well-written, the series remains a joy to read.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Dr. Cathy Goodwin TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on September 15, 2007
Format: Hardcover
Homicide Lieutenant Peter Decker gets drawn into the investigation of Roseanne Dresden. She's listed as a passenger on the plane, but was she working as a flight attendant? Riding jump seat to her Burbank home from San Jose? Or did she run off to start a new life to escape from a difficult marriage?

So far so good. I have to admit I had trouble putting this book down for the first 200 pages or so...up till Kellerman throws her readers a curve with an improbable coincidence. After that I skimmed through to the ending, which definitely does not live up to the first third of the book.

Apart from the ending, the book could have been cut by at least 100 pages. We get details of forensic techniques. We get descriptions of what everyone was wearing, even some minor characters. And we get too much details of police interrogations.

I also can't help wondering if the LAPD would invest substantial resources to fly to another state for a cold case. And some of the airline information didn't seem quite right.

All in all, frustrating to get so interested and then deal with an anticlimax ending. Great writing -- just needed some heavy-handed edits. And I would have to agree with the reviewers who criticized the book jacket. A good mystery -- maybe. Definitely not a "mind-searing portrait of unimaginable evil that will challenge Decker's and Rina's own beliefs..." Not even close.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By deeper waters on September 27, 2007
Format: Hardcover
I had high hopes for Faye Kellerman's latest publication but the promise far exceeded the reality. Tighter editing of unnecessary and endless discussions of food, the sweating habits of large men and the impact of tampax failure on luminol results would have gone a long way. The plot was somewhat plausible but never really came together in a meaningful way. Rina and Peter have more to offer than this book gave them credit for.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By L. Jones on August 23, 2007
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Let me start off by saying I love this series and normally I think that Faye Kellerman is an excellent author, but this book is mediocre at best. When I heard in April that a new book was coming out in August - I could not wait to read it, now I wish I could rewind back to April. Maybe having more time to write would have given these characters and this plot a badly needed pulse.

Fans of the series, who are looking for family interactions and developed plots will be disappointed.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Weaver on November 1, 2007
Format: Hardcover
I've read all the previous Decker/Lazarus novels and to say that this one is a disappointment is a true understatement. The writing in particular is disapointing: unsophisticated, almost juvenile in comparison to earlier volumes. I keep asking myself which one of the younger Kellermans actually wrote this book. And for heaven's sake, where was the editor?
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Me, Myself and I on September 16, 2007
Format: Hardcover
I found this book to be very boring compared to her other works. I kept waiting for the bodies of "four additional travelers" (only one extra body is found) and for the "unimaginable evil that will challenge Decker's and Rina's own beliefs...". Nothing in this book could be described as unimaginable evil (in fact, just the opposite.... plain, old, dull reasons for murder....)and no other bodies were found.
The book was a big let down for me... expected more from the description.
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