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Gun Games: A Decker/Lazarus Novel (Decker/Lazarus Novels) Mass Market Paperback – June 26, 2012
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From the Back Cover
The Hesse suicide strikes a troubling chord in the household of Decker and his wife, Rina Lazarus, now that they've taken in Gabe Whitman—the gifted and brilliant fifteen-year-old son of a killer—whose own unexplained comings and goings only remind Decker that he knows almost nothing about the secretive boy living under his roof. But it's a second teen suicide—a young girl who attended the same exclusive prep school as Gregory Hesse—that points Decker and his detectives down a dark alley of twisted allegiances and unholy alliances . . . and toward a cold-blooded group of high schoolers with a shocking predilection for guns and violence.
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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Gabe is a 15 year old who is the center of this story. He is a talented, even gifted, concert pianist who is headed to Juilliard in four months. He lives under the roof with Rina and her husband, Detective Peter Decker. He loves classical music, including opera, and meets a Persian Jewish girl, age 14, who shares his same interests in music. They get closer and he teaches her some things about sex, which really draws them into a second area of interest.
This is not a book for young teens to read unless they are "mature" for their age. The street language is crude and the sexual scenes are like soft porn.
I gave it five stars because the story is very well written with excellent characters throughout.
Having said all that, I have one question: What has happened to Rina? Can we please have her back? In the earlier novels of this series, Rina Lazarus figured things out for herself. She was always part of the action. She had no problem with jumping into her car (after packing a Kosher lunch) and driving off to investigate this or that theory she had about a case. She was occasionally exposed to great danger. She made enormous contributions to the unfolding of each story. In later books she has become a sort of stage prop. For several installments, all we heard about her was how beautiful she was, and our only glimpse of her seemed to have her standing in her kitchen turning out delectable meals for the Sabbath, or driving her daughter to school in her Volvo. Now she seems to have been relegated to holding hands, offering words of encouragement, and fetching things. Rina's appeal has always been that she was perfectly capable of being the perfect Jewish housewife and mother while exercising her formidable mental talents on the crime of the moment. She's beautiful, she's brilliant, and she deserves a lot more than what she's been given to do in these last few books.
I liked Gabe & Yasmine, I really did. I couldn't stand all the texting. I don't like to read dialect or "LOL CAT" language, and I have to add texting to the list. And the texting seemed to go on forever. And ever. And ever. Yes, I felt bad for the star-crossed lovers, who were basically the same age as Romeo and Juliet. But there was just TOO MUCH of their story. Was this Twilight?
The book did make me reflect on parenting and its effect on the kids. Chris Donatti was far from a good parent, but Gabe turned out all right. Rina & Decker were excellent parents and foster parents; they were nurturing & supportive to Gabe, and their four kids turned out well. I'm looking forward to seeing them as grandparents. Although Yasmine's parents loved her, their strict adherence to traditional behavior made it difficult for her to cope with her blossoming feelings. Fortunately her mother did support her operatic ambitions, as she was extremely talented.
Darla's very religious parents saw to it that she would be responsible for her actions; even though she was involved in drugs, they still loved her. But there were young people who had been ruined by parents who were at best self-involved and at worse amoral. The lengths to which some parents will go to "protect" their children amazes me.
The ending struck me as fitting; please don't think badly of me for that!
All in all, I'm not sorry I read the book, but it could have been so much better. More Peter & Rina, more Scott & Marge, and less Romeo & Juliet!
It is sad to lose Mrs. Kellerman. I gave up on her husband, Jonathan Kellerman, many books ago. Ditto Jack Higgins.