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Sacred and Profane Paperback – August 1, 1987
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About the Author
Faye Kellerman has four children and lives with them and her husband, novelist and psychologist Jonathan Kellerman, in Los Angeles.
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Peter's investigation takes him to the seedy side of the street, porn movies and the elites who watch them under the protective cover of their wealth.
Meanwhile, Peter & Rina's relationship becomes more difficult as Peter is not especially devoted to learning the Jewish customs and Rina's religious beliefs prohibit her from a committed relationship with a gentile.
Thank you Faye, Jonathan and Amazon!
LAPD Detective Sergeant Peter Decker met Rina Lazarus, a young and very beautiful widow, while investigating a rape at a yeshiva in Deep Canyon, CA, where she lives and works. Rina is an Orthodox Jewess and the mother of two small sons, Samuel and Jacob. Attracted to each other from their first meeting, Rina and Peter, feel their relationship is "bashert," meant to be or predestined. Raised a Baptist, Peter is studying with Rabbi Aaron Schulman to become an observant Jew, both for his own spiritual needs and in order to marry Rina. At times, however, he has doubts about the course he has chosen, although he never doubts his feelings for Rina. The couple are very much in love. Besides her beauty, outside and in, Decker is drawn to her total lack of guile.
Decker has become very close to Rina's sons and takes them on a camping trip where one of the boys discovers the charred remains of two corpses. Peter, who works in juvenile crime, is temporarily assigned to homicide to investigate this case. The skeletons, two women in their teens or early twenties, are identified through complex dental work and their murders are found to be connected to a grisly pornography ring which deals in "snuff" films." The case forces Decker to deal with the dregs of humanity, and although he is a hardened combat vet who served in Vietnam, and for years with the police, he becomes increasingly agitated and depressed. The fact that he is the father of a teen-age daughter, from a prior marriage, only increases his despair and anger. Seriously questioning the existence of God and the purpose of religion in his life, he becomes ambivalent about continuing his religious studies and practices. As he delves more deeply into the complex, macabre case, Peter becomes more and more isolated from Rina. And Rina, who in no way wants to pressure him, needs to find out how committed her finance is to their relationship and to becoming an observant religious man.
The author deftly handles the workings of the intense personal relationships between Peter, Rina and their children plus crime solving with apparent ease. As with the other Kellerman books I have read, her characters are her strength. They are truly three-dimensional and their dialogue is extremely realistic. I thoroughly enjoyed the mystery, the humanity of the characters, and details of the Orthodox Jewish customs and lifestyle.
I plan to read more of this excellent author's work and highly recommend it to others.
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