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Prayers for the Dead: A Peter Decker/Rina Lazarus Novel (Peter Decker & Rina Lazarus Novels) Hardcover – September 1, 1996
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Dr. Azor Moses Sparks is an extremely esteemed heart surgeon, a devout fundamentalist Christian, a cyclist, a friend of biker gangs; a friend to all. Until he is found dead in an alley with his chest ripped open, that is. Where does one go to begin in the investigation of a man who had no enemies? Lt. Peter Decker starts with the man's family, which he discovers is large and filled with strife and unstable characters. He also finds some problems in his own affairs, mostly involving religious beliefs--his own, those of his Orthodox Jewish wife and those of a Roman Catholic priest who plays a prominent role in the multilayered thriller.
From Publishers Weekly
Powerful, assured and absorbing, Kellerman's ninth Peter Decker/Rina Lazarus (Sanctuary; Justice) mystery begins with the brutal murder and mutilation of renowned heart surgeon, researcher and fundamentalist Christian Azor Sparks. LAPD Lieutenant Decker gets the call. He also gets an abundance of suspects. First there is Sparks's large family: his wife, Dolores, and six adult children, including triplets (Paul, Luke and Abram, a Catholic priest), and their assorted spouses. Then there are the victim's surgical and research colleagues and his unlikely biking buddies. Religion and morality are integral to Kellerman's mysteries?built on the bedrock of the Deckers' orthodox Judaism. Here she deftly casts her net around the commanding victim, whose shadow lay equally over family and colleagues, and his son, the theologian Father Abram, whose past connection with Rina may force Decker off the case. Human strengths and frailties, decisions made or not made and mistakes overcome or yet to be reckoned with provide the material that Decker must sift through to find the murderer. As his competent staff (Marge Dunn among them) launch their probes in all directions, they uncover a catalogue of motives that may relate to Sparks's murder and to another that follows. Kellerman succeeds brilliantly in making the search for understanding as compelling as the search for the murderer. 100,000 first printing; audio rights to Brilliance.
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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I've written more than a dozen books, all non-fiction on travel and retirement subjects (see Lan Sluder's author's page on Amazon for a sampling). Reading Kellerman always makes me realize how difficult it must be to do a good mystery novel, what a good writer she is and what a lousy novelist I would be.
I won't give it away...you have to find out for yourself why this is worth the five stars I gave it.
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