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Bone Box (Peter Decker and Rina Lazarus Series #24)

Bone Box (Peter Decker and Rina Lazarus Series #24)

4.2 5
by Faye Kellerman

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In this thrilling chapter in Faye Kellerman’s bestselling series, Rina Lazarus makes a shocking discovery in the woods of her upstate New York community that leads her husband, police detective Peter Decker, through a series of gruesome, decades old, unsolved murders, pointing to a diabolical, serial killer who’s been hiding in plain sight.

On a


In this thrilling chapter in Faye Kellerman’s bestselling series, Rina Lazarus makes a shocking discovery in the woods of her upstate New York community that leads her husband, police detective Peter Decker, through a series of gruesome, decades old, unsolved murders, pointing to a diabolical, serial killer who’s been hiding in plain sight.

On a bright and crisp September morning, while walking a bucolic woodland trail, Rina Decker stumbles upon human remains once buried deep beneath the forest grounds. Immediately, she calls her husband, Peter, a former detective lieutenant with LAPD, now working for the local Greenbury Police. Within hours, a vista of beauty and tranquility is transformed into a frenetic crime scene. The body has been interred for years and there is scant physical evidence at the gravesite: a youthful skeleton, a skull wound and long dark strands of hair surrounding the bony frame. As Decker and his partner, Tyler McAdams, further investigate, they realize that they’re most likely dealing with a missing student from the nearby Five Colleges of Upstate—a well-known and well-respected consortium of higher learning where Rina works.

And when more human remains are found in the same area, Decker and McAdams know this isn’t just a one-off murder case. Short-staffed and with no convenient entry into the colleges, Decker enlists Rina’s help to act as the eyes and ears of campus gossip. Winding their way through a dangerous labyrinth of steely suspects and untouchable academics, Decker, McAdams, and Rina race to protect their community from a psychopathic killer still in the area—and on the hunt for a fresh victim.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
In bestseller Kellerman’s so-so 24th novel featuring Peter Decker, a retired LAPD homicide detective who now works for the Greenbury, N.Y., police, and his wife, Rina Lazarus (after 2015’s The Theory of Death), a routine morning hike for Rina becomes the catalyst for the search for a serial killer after she accidentally steps on skeletal remains, which may belong to one of several students reported missing in recent years from the so-called Five Colleges of Upstate. Peter and his sidekick, Tyler McAdams, an affluent law student who’s spending his summer with the police and has become a virtual family member, investigate; the pair eventually identify the victim, before more skeletons are unearthed in the area of the original find. Rina inserts herself into the case, despite her husband’s fears for her safety. The plot line unfolds predictably, and there’s no real emotional tension, despite a spat between Peter and Rina over watching TV. Series fans will be pleased to learn that the couple’s twin grandsons, although only seven, are basketball prodigies at their Philadelphia school. (Feb.)
Library Journal
After Rina Lazarus finds a body in the woods, husband Peter Decker of the Greenbury, NY, police identifies the victim as a student from the area's Five Colleges of Upstate. More bodies turn up, and Peter asks Rina to act as his eyes and ears at the schools, where she works. With a 100,000-copy first printing.
Kirkus Reviews
An unwelcome discovery Rina Lazarus makes on a woodsy trail begins what feels like an endless new investigation for her husband, Greenbury Police Detective Peter Decker (The Theory of Death, 2015, etc.). The skeletal hand Rina steps on has clearly been buried, not entirely successfully, for years, and the first challenge for the little Greenbury force is to figure out who the victim was and which of the fictitious Five Colleges she came from. The initial assumption that the corpse is female turns out to be only half-right, or both right and wrong: it's Lawrence Pettigrew, who dropped out of Morse McKinley seven years ago for the gender reassignment surgery that would make her Lorraine. Pettigrew's ambiguous gender status—she identified as female and took female hormones but never went through with the last surgical procedure that would have completed her transition—is only the first of several intriguing matters Kellerman raises but doesn't resolve. Instead, the case circles back to the past when another corpse is improbably discovered 100 yards away: that of Delilah Occum, who vanished from Clarion College three years ago. It's a good thing Rina can use her contacts at Hillel to supply Decker and his very junior partner, Harvard Law student Tyler McAdams, with a list of students who've gone missing from the Five Colleges over the years, because there's no sign that the murders are over, and everyone in the area, from charismatic professors to drug suppliers to horny boyfriends, seems to be involved. The wide net Decker is forced to cast leads to false starts, dead ends, and eventually multiple arrests and several far more satisfying hours of sweating the perps in interrogation rooms just in time for Rina to turn away from her much-remarked handguns (are you listening, Anton Chekhov?) and start cooking for Rosh Hashana. A low-concept small-town procedural that delivers more authenticity than suspense, with so many forgettable suspects, witnesses, and potential victims that you'll need a grade book to keep them straight.

Product Details

HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
Peter Decker and Rina Lazarus Series , #24
Edition description:
Large Print
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
5.90(w) x 8.90(h) x 1.50(d)

Meet the Author

Faye Kellerman lives with her husband, New York Times bestselling author Jonathan Kellerman, in Los Angeles, California, and Santa Fe, New Mexico.

Brief Biography

Beverly Hills, California
Date of Birth:
July 31, 1952
Place of Birth:
St. Louis, Missouri
B.A. in Mathematics, 1974; D.D.A., 1978

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Bone Box (Peter Decker and Rina Lazarus Series #24) 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 5 reviews.
Anonymous 25 days ago
The ending seemed very abrupt. No surprising twists either. A good but not great book.
Anonymous 26 days ago
A good read, complicated at times, with lots and lots of characters and lots and lots of twists. The ending came too soon.
Anonymous 9 days ago
Wanted to read it straight thru !!
Anonymous 17 days ago
Great book so many twist and turns. I enjoy the story all the way up until the end . I wish her ending was as great as the rest of the book .
Anonymous More than 1 year ago