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Justice Paperback – May 9, 1996
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"Warlight" by Michael Ondaatje
A dramatic coming-of-age story set in the decade after World War II, "Warlight" is the mesmerizing new novel from the best-selling author of "The English Patient." Pre-order today
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A California high-school student, blonde, promiscuous Cheryl Diggs is murdered and the obvious suspect is her fellow student, Chris Whitman. A seemingly straightforward case, especially when it emerges that Whitman is an East Coast mafia chieftain's son - after all, murder runs in the family. But no murder case is straightforward, as Sergeant Pete Decker well knows, and the closer he looks at this one the less satisfied he is. Though Whitman eventually confesses to the killing Decker knows the case hasn't been exhaustively investigated - and certain pieces of evidence don't quite add up. On the other hand, Decker also knows that, even if he didn't murder Diggs, Whitman is a cold-blooded killer. And that the sweet young girl now under his thrall is bound, eventually, to suffer at Whitman's hands if he walks free. How should Decker ensure justice is done?
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I look forward to Chris finding out about his child - you know he will!
Looking at the reviews for all the different Peter and Rina novels, you can see that some were loved. Some were well liked. Some were even hated. Personally, I loved them all.
This book, however, is definitely one of her better ones as the other reviews attest to.
It's unfortunate that Kellerman continues the trend of keeping Rina in the background. Rina is becoming a rather inconsequential character. Too bad. I really like the books where she and Peter interact more on the crime at hand (she had a rather nice comeback in Sanctuary).
However, as a previous reviewer smartly remarked, we see Peter in a different light and perhaps we learn some more about him. One of the things that impresses me with Kellerman's writing is that her characters have flaws that make them more human. You often don't see built in character flaws in modern novels, but Faye Kellerman's characters have that quality that enables me to identify with them. This is a sign to me that she bases her characters on people that she knows.
The plot is gripping. Without revealing a spoiler, part of that is the suspense of whether Peter will do the Right Thing[TM].
If you've stuck by Kellerman this far, this is NOT the book to stop at. You definitely want to read this one.
If you're new to Kellerman, definitely start at the beginning. Aside from the fact that The Ritual Bath is arguably the best of the first 8 books, Kellerman's characters go through life changes. Part of the fun of these books is the fact that Kellerman's character development is spectacular. We see people grow up. We see people get old. We truly get to know them. Like old friends.
Other than that, I found the loose ends a little disconcerting, too. I think it wasn't very clear who the killer actually was....Kalil never admitted to the crime, but he did it. One reviewer says the case was solved early on, but in fact it was solved at the end of the book.
I also had a problem with the little twist where Terry was deemed by Donatti to be a good match for Chris....what happened to the other marriage? Then it was on again at the end? Come on. Not believable.
And it's odd how 95% of the book was about Terry and Chris, and maybe 5% was about finding out who the real killer was. Weird.
Good book, but not Ms. Kellerman's best. I will definitely keep reading her books, though. Can't put them down.