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Gun Games: A Decker/Lazarus Novel (Decker/Lazarus Novels) Mass Market Paperback – June 26, 2012

3.9 out of 5 stars 309 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

The nearly identical suicides of two students at a prestigious private school, both involving stolen handguns, pique the interest of LAPD Lieutenant Detective Pete Decker and his squad. But the focus here is less on Decker and his wife, Rina Lazarus, than on Gabe Whitman, the son of a friend who’s living with them temporarily. Gabe, a 15-year-old musical prodigy, also has street smarts learned from his mobster father, Chris Donatti, that stand him in good stead when he’s “crowded” and threatened by the clique called the B&W Mafia. Home-schooled Gabe also falls head-over-heels in love with 14-year-old Yasmine Nourmand. While the reciprocal relationship is grounded in love of music (plus raging hormones), it appears doomed by cultural and religious differences. Plot threads intertwine head-on in a violent confrontation, eventually tying up most loose ends extremely satisfactorily. The twentieth Decker/Lazarus novel shows Kellerman in fine form, taking on the au courant issue of bullying, in a slick, fast-moving mystery that should entice even those new to the series. HIGH-DEMAND BACKSTORY: After a slight misstep with Hangman, Kellerman returns to fine form here, and fans of the long-running series will return as well. --Michele Leber --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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'Kellerman is an excellent writer' The Times '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 an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Series: Decker/Lazarus Novels (Book 20)
  • Mass Market Paperback: 480 pages
  • Publisher: Harper; Reprint edition (June 26, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 006206696X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0062066961
  • Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 1.1 x 7.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (309 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #386,147 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I pre-ordered "Gun Games" for my Kindle so it downloaded very early this morning. I finished the book around 11:00 a.m. so please forgive any typos.

As a fan of the Decker/Lazurus series, I've read each book more than once so I feel like I know the recurring characters. In Gun Games, Decker seems detached from home, family, and young Gabe who has been entrusted to his and Rina's care. When Gabe's life is threatened, Decker responds quickly but still seems distant from the hospitalized teen, leaving Rina alone to sit with Gabe until Chris arrives.

Chris waits pensively for Gabe to wake up. His usually domineering persona seems diminished by the hospital setting. He's done things for Gabe in the past, such as providing food, clothing, shelter, and other essentials. Now he is giving Gabe something he's never had - a father sitting beside his bed talking and listening to his son. When the nurse tells Chris that he raised Gabe right, I laughed with them.

Marge seems ready for a promotion. Oliver shows little growth. Overall, the team handles the complexity of the minors/adults, multiple suspects, and getting the best possible charges against the teens.

It is interesting to watch how the various parents react when drawn into the situation. Why is it that the children who seem to fear their parents the most (they'll kill me) are usually the ones whose parents know how to turn a mistake into a learning experience?

The focus on high school students seems to point to everything that is bad about today's high schools, even those which are considered the best. The faculty and administration seem clueless.

Not wanting to write a spoiler, I won't recap the plot.
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Format: Hardcover
I have to agree with the other readers comments on this latest Rina Lazarus/Peter Decker mystery. It was a mystery to me as to where Rina was. She had little or nothing to do with this story. She appeared mouthing a platitude here and there, seemingly just to justify the title of a Rina Lazarus/Peter Decker mystery. Gabe Whitman was an interesting character, but his thoughts and actions were far too advanced for a boy of his age. The puppy love story line was silly and contrived, and the introduction of characters and their relationship to each other became very muddled at times.
It seemed to me that Ms. Kellerman tried using shock value with the use of fowl language sprinkled liberally throughout the book. It was overdone, as was a lot of the dialogue.

Where oh where are the likes of "Ritual Bath" and the several others that followed? I will think twice or three times before I buy another Rina/Peter book.
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Format: Hardcover
I'm a big fan of this series but this book didn't really do it for me. While I find Gabe to be an interesting character, his thoughts and "voice" didn't really resonate with me as really authentic to a boy his age.
I had read the previous book when Gabe came to live with the Deckers, but hadn't remembered all the details and it took awhile for Kellerman to put them together for me this time.
Mostly, I missed the characters that I have truly come to enjoy in these novels. While I like the fact that the author moves the characters along in time in each book, this really was Gabe's story, and I guess I'm just not ready to embrace him.
Finally, the coincidences in the book - Gabe's involvement with the kids who Decker is investigating - just seems a little much.
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Format: Hardcover
Like many others here, I have read all of Faye Kellerman's novels. The earlier ones were compelling reading, beautifully written, with interesting characters and intriguing side details along with strong plots. I don't know what has gone wrong but something sure has, and maybe it is time for Faye to put away the idea of writing any further novels in the so-called detective story arena and perhaps just turn her attention to young adult novels with teenaged protagonists, since that seems to be where her interests now lie. I was a bit disappointed in her last book, the one before GUN GAMES, but when I learned there was this new one on the way, I went ahead and put my name on the reserve list for it at the library. I am not going to bother doing that for her next book, as clearly she has gone into characters and subject matter in which I am absolutely not interested. GUN GAMES is more filled with teenagers' angst and too many samples of texting messages between the very unrealistic 14-year-old and 15-year-old main characters (neither of whom seems remotely like anyone who might exist in real life) than it is with any genuinely interesting plot. I am probably not going to finish reading the book (I am about half of the way through it now), but instead will just skip to the end to see who lives and who dies and whether or not what I think happened as far as the very thin plot around the police investigations of two teens' suicides is the way she worked things out. I'm very glad that I did not waste money purchasing this book and that instead I borrowed it from the library.

After doing some poking around I was reminded that Faye has co-written one book, a young adult title, with her daughter, Aliza Kellerman.
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