- Paperback: 512 pages
- Publisher: Headline Book Publishing (January 1, 2000)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0747259224
- ISBN-13: 978-0747259220
- Product Dimensions: 4.4 x 1.3 x 7 inches
- Shipping Weight: 11.4 ounces
- Average Customer Review: 128 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,639,414 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Jupiter's Bones Paperback – January 1, 2000
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Narrator Jordan Lage uses his diverse background in theater, film, and television for all it's worth, creating a menagerie of quirky character voices and pumping the spooky meter to 11. But it really isn't necessary. Faye Kellerman's story, centering on the suspicious death of a charismatic cult leader and the deadly reactions of his followers, is mysterious and entertaining enough without all the vocal gymnastics. When playing it straight, Lage does a credible job with an intriguing and compelling plot. Next time, he might consider leaving out "dis, dat, and de uddah ting." (Running time: 4.5 hours, 4 cassettes) --George Laney --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
From Publishers Weekly
In her 11th Peter Decker/Rina Lazarus mystery (Moon Music, etc.), Kellerman develops the theme of parent-child relationships along two fronts. Before Father Jupiter became the head of a religious cult called the Order of the Rings of God, he was a renowned astrophysicist named Dr. Emil Euler Ganz. Though Jupiter has long been out of touch with his family, when he dies mysteriously his estranged daughter, Europa, becomes a pivotal help to LAPD detective Decker's investigation. Jupiter's death looks like suicideAuntil the autopsy reveals small amounts of arsenic in his body. Then two of the four remaining cult leaders are killed, prompting the cops to suspect that a serial killer is lurking among the group's members. When the police and FBI try to storm the cult's compound, Brother Bob, Jupiter's old attendant, wires the buildings and threatens to blow up everyone, leaving Decker to figure out how to save the lives of the compound's 96 children. Meanwhile, because of the pressures of the case, Decker is failing to give his two teenage stepsons the attention they need to weather the upheavals of adolescence. He relies on the help of his wife, Rina, to understand the rules of the boys' Jewish orthodox upbringing, but there are aspects of their lives he must take the time to find out on his own. Kellerman writes spine-tingling suspense and defines her characters well, but the scenes in which experts lecture the cops on physics and cult psychology are overlong and sometimes superfluous. Although the Decker/Lazarus family relationship strengthens in this novel, this is not the strongest of the series. (Aug.)
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Bear in mind, please, I love this series. I read it as much for the stories of the relationship between Decker/Rina and Decker/Rest of the World as I do the mystery and drama. That being said, the cult of crazies and power-seekers in this book is a cookie-cutter motif with all the standard characters you'd expect from a "cult" and all of the bizarre rituals you might want to mock (which I find ironic, given the way that many people in the series - and out - see the rituals of Judaism and its sects) and all the fears about cults the media plays upon. The relationships between Rina and Decker and Decker and his children, the children and Rina, all seem to have hit a tired point as well. There isn't anything new or surprising.
It's possible that the predictable nature of some of the steps in ordinary relationships is part of the natural evolution of the characters, but if I wanted to experience that I don't need to read about it. It's dull.
Add in the feeling you get as you read that things aren't going to end well within the cult, as they usually don't, and the feeling that the relationships between the central characters are going to sort of muddle along without any big changes happening, and it isn't an interesting read.
Would I have skipped it, in hind-sight, knowing how I feel about the series as a whole? No. Was the writing well crafted? Yes. It's the actual story-telling that just falls short - this time. I'm looking forward to reading the next because I expect, and usually get, better.