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Justice: A Peter Decker/Rina Lazarus Novel (Peter Decker & Rina Lazarus Novels) Hardcover – September 1, 1995
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From Publishers Weekly
The eighth appearance of LAPD homicide detective Peter Decker and his wife, Rina Lazarus, will likely increase her constituency as she concentrates more on the case at hand and less on the Jewish law and lore that rises from Rina's Orthodox Jewish background and informs the Decker family life. Chris Whitman, a high-school senior with a hidden past and close ties to his uncle?a powerful Mafia don?has some kinky notions of sexual games. He tries them with his very Catholic and proper (yes, virginal) classmate, Terry, with whom he is obsessed. Trouble begins when Chris's less constrained former girlfriend is found bound and dead in a tawdry hotel the morning after the prom, with evidence suggesting her involvement in a wild night of drugs and sex with multiple partners, including Chris. The youth's confession, coming after Decker discovers photographs that could compromise Terry's reputation, leaves Decker uncomfortable. So does his chief's suggestion that conflicting forensic evidence be given low priority. Decker, fighting some demons of his own, continues investigating even after the case is considered solved, and Uncle Joey, none too happy with Chris or Terry, executes his own brand of revenge. Surprising twists and engaging subplots will keep readers turning the pages to the satisfying conclusion.
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Kellerman's latest Pete Decker/Rina Lazarus novel will join its predecessors at or near the top of most best-seller lists. The story begins with a teen prom queen who has been found dead in a fleabag motel, apparently strangled after a night of drink, drugs, and kinky sex. Handsome, clean-cut Chris Whitman has confessed to the killing, but LAPD detective Decker is uncomfortable with the easy resolution of the case and the way things just don't add up. Chris, the son of Mob boss Joe Donatti, is way too cool, too smooth, and too sure of himself. Evidence taken from the dead prom queen's body shows she had sex with at least one other person besides Whitman on the night she died. And sweet, innocent Teresa McLaughlin is in love with Whitman, but there's more to the romance than the usual teen hormonal attraction. So, despite his superiors' objections, Pete digs into the case more deeply and finds, to his horror, what really happened. Although the plot occasionally veers off into improbability, Kellerman keeps the suspense turned to high from beginning to end, and readers will find themselves thoroughly engaged and, as usual with Kellerman's books, well entertained. Emily Melton
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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.