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The Beast: A Decker/Lazarus Novel (Decker/Lazarus Novels) Hardcover – August 6, 2013
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"Rebound" by Kwame Alexander
Don't miss best-selling author Kwame Alexander's "Rebound," a new companion novel to his Newbery Award-winner, "The Crossover," illustrated with striking graphic novel panels. Learn more
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The titular beast would appear to be a full-grown female Bengal tiger, which is found in the apartment of a man who has been murdered. He was a rich recluse a la Howard Hughes with two grown and very rich children and their stepmother, who divorced him a long time ago and still despised him after all these years? Why? As it turns out, she has very good reason.
As Peter, Marge, and Scott delve farther into the case, we begin to wonder which is really the beast--the tiger or the dead man.
The children, ex-wife, and a woman named Vignette are very colorful characters who stand out; Vignette is a unique woman who cares more for the exotic animals she tends to in her sanctuary that the dead man largely funded than she does for people. She operates on a bear's paw and later saves Decker's life. Is she a suspect? Yes. More suspects from the world of massage/kinky sex turn up.
There are two subplots. One revolves around the Romeo and Juliet couple from The Gun, brilliant 17-year-old concert pianist Gabe, the Deckers' foster son, and 16-year-old Persian Jewish Yasmine, whose fierce mother does everything but lock her up in a tower and does not want her to develop her gorgeous coloratura voice. Decker finds it necessary to consult Gabe's estranged father, a nasty gangster, who does come through with vital information.
The other subplot revolves around Decker's thoughts about his and Rina's future, but I don't want to spoil anything so that's all I'll add.
Of course the truth is revealed, but the book ends on a note of oncoming change. I don't know how this will affect any future books, but I'll be interested to see if it does.
Again, this book was an excellent addition to Faye Kellerman's bibliography. I love the Deckers and their deep and satisfying love and respect and friendship for each other.
This leads to one of Decker's most bizarre cases. The live tiger is just the tip of the iceberg as Decker delves into what becomes a cold case of murder as well as the fresh one. Complicating life is the challenge of raising a young piano prodigy with his love for a underage girl and her overprotective mother.
Decker handles both the challenges with his usual aplomb, but it's beginning to tell on him. Is he ready to retire?
After all the wonderful "Whodunnits" I've read, including many of Jonathan Kellerman's, I just can't figure out why Faye Kellerman isn't more popular. A prolific writer, she has truly enriched my life with Peter Decker and his family. I'm always so excited for the next book to come out!
The series has evolved over the last three decades, becoming less focused on religious issues and becoming more of a true police procedural. Without giving anything aways, The Beast revolves around the peculiar and bizarre evil of a wealthy old man, but there are also enough positive developments to satisfy most readers.
In a way, The Beast marks the end of the Decker/Lazarus series, at least in Los Angeles, as Peter decides to retire from the violence and political bureaucracy of big city Los Angeles. A preview of Kellerman's next Decker/Lazarus episode, included in at least the Kindle edition, is set in Upstate New York, where Decker has moved (with Rina) to work in a small police department in a college town.
One disappointing thing is that this preview must have been hurriedly put together for inclusion, without much editing or copyediting, as it is full of typos and other errors. I imagine that by the time the book actually appears later this year it will be up to the high standards of the rest of the series.
Most recent customer reviews
The long version:
This was my first Kellerman novel. I have been listening to what I think of as "brain candy" in my car -...Read more
Well written. Can’t wait to read anotherDecker/Lazarus Novel. (Peter Decker and Rina Lazarus Series).
I didn't want to put it down.Read more