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The Beast: A Decker/Lazarus Novel (Decker/Lazarus Novels) Paperback – Large Print, August 27, 2013
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About the Author
Faye Kellerman lives with her husband, New York Times bestselling author Jonathan Kellerman, in Los Angeles, California, and Santa Fe, New Mexico.
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Top Customer Reviews
I would highly recommend this book. It's not a masterpiece - that's why I'm not giving it 5 stars.
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.
Unfortunately, this story really reads like Kellerman rushed to slap something together for the publisher. Aside from the usual problems that plague well-anticipated sequels, such as grammar and spelling errors, the plot has a bunch of gaping holes and the ending just falls off.
The book opens with a peculiar murder scene, involving a tiger and later many other dangerous animals/snakes/insects. The murder victim is an elderly, wealthy recluse. His family and its relationships were a high point of this otherwise mediocre book, because they were drawn realistically and memorably, if a bit too treacly at times.
The murder was a weird combination of different people's actions and motivations, without getting into spoiler-y detail. However, none of the motivations were really clearly laid out, and there were a bunch of characters with more interest than we were told in the story. Also, the detective work was way too easy compared to previous Decker cases. And in the end, they made reference to planning various investigations, and then there's just a paragraph wrap-up with none of that actually done.
The sub-plot with Gabe and Yasmine was weak and young-adult-y, as some other reviewers have mentioned. I was left wondering what either one sees in the other, honestly. There were a couple of references to the previous book and these two characters as well, but even though I read that book, I found those passages confusing and distracting.
The end of the book kind of just happens, a vaguely sensible ending to the crime and a fall-off-the-log ending for several of the characters with moves, retirements, etc. occurring precipitously. Generally, a disappointment for this fan.
All-in-all a satisfying good read as usual, a week-end reading that was well spent.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I didn't want to put it down.Read more