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Gun Games (Peter Decker and Rina Lazarus Series #20)
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Gun Games (Peter Decker and Rina Lazarus Series #20)

3.9 92
by Faye Kellerman

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Peter Decker and Rina Lazarus are back in this gripping mystery involving a secret cabal of some of Los Angeles’ most wealthy—and vicious—teens

LAPD lieutenant detective Decker and his wife, Rina, have willingly welcomed fifteen-year-old Gabriel Whitman, the son of a troubled former friend, into their home. While the enigmatic teen seems to be


Peter Decker and Rina Lazarus are back in this gripping mystery involving a secret cabal of some of Los Angeles’ most wealthy—and vicious—teens

LAPD lieutenant detective Decker and his wife, Rina, have willingly welcomed fifteen-year-old Gabriel Whitman, the son of a troubled former friend, into their home. While the enigmatic teen seems to be adapting easily, Decker knows only too well the secrets adolescents keep—witnessed by the tragic suicide of another teen, Gregory Hesse, a student at Bell and Wakefield, one of the city’s most exclusive prep schools.

Gregory’s mother, Wendy, refuses to believe her son shot himself and convinces Decker to look deeper. What he finds disturbs him. The gun used in the tragedy was stolen—evidence that propels him to launch a full investigation with his trusted team, Sergeant Marge Dunn and Detective Scott Oliver. But the case becomes darkly complicated by the suicide of another Bell and Wakefield student—a death that leads them to uncover an especially nasty group of rich and privileged students with a predilection for guns and violence. Decker thought he understood kids, yet the closer he and his team get to the truth, the clearer it becomes that he knows very little about them, including his own charge, Gabe. The son of a gangster and an absent parent, the boy has had a life filled with too much free time, too many unexplained absences, and too little adult supervision.

Before it’s over, the case and all its terrifying ramifications will take Decker and his detectives down a dark alley of twisted allegiances and unholy alliances, culminating at a heart-stopping point of no return.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
A teenage romance dominates bestseller Kellerman’s subpar 20th novel featuring LAPD Lt. Peter Decker and his wife, Rina Lazarus (after 2010’s Hangman). Decker’s search for the truth in the wake of the inexplicable suicide of high school student Gregory Hesse competes with the story of Decker’s latest rescue, 15-year-old Gabe Whitman, a brilliant musical prodigy whose father earns his living as a pimp. Gabe’s hormones run out-of-control after he meets 14-year-old Yasmine Nourmand, a Persian Jew from a very traditional family. The vicissitudes of the budding relationship between Gabe, who lives with the Deckers, and Yasmine hit on pretty much all the usual clichés, and this focus diminishes the impact of the truth behind Gregory’s death. Kellerman’s portrayal of Rina as the Jewish mother of all Jewish mothers may leave some readers wishing the author had cast Rina more as an individual than a type. (Jan.)
Kirkus Reviews
A psychopath's teenage son falls in love. Lt. Peter Decker, LAPD, and his wife Rina, a grandma supplying kosher treats to the children and grandkids, have taken on the task of fostering Gabe, a 15-year-old piano prodigy, whose mom has abandoned him and whose dad, hit man Chris Donatti, has settled in Nevada to operate a chain of brothels. After a standoff with a posse of threatening school bullies led by Dylan Lashay, Gabe meets and falls for Yasmine, 14, a Persian Jew and opera aficionado. They keep their romance secret from her Orthodox parents, but text incessantly and meet every morning before school at the Coffee Bean. Decker meanwhile tries to discover why two teens at Bell and Wakefield prep school have committed suicide with stolen guns within six weeks of each other. When Dylan's main squeeze, the sexually manipulative Cameron, approaches Gabe and he turns her down, her revenge includes bogus cries of rape and a kidnapping at gunpoint. Decker and coppers Dunn and Oliver swoop in and confiscate evidence that will not only support Gabe and Yasmine's version of what went on but tie Dylan and his hotheads to at least one of the suicides. Kellerman (Hangman, 2010, etc.) stakes out her claim as the mordant Judy Blume. If you're not particularly engaged by the sexual arousal of pubescent first-timers, you can skip to the final vignette, which puts the focus back on adult misdemeanors.

Product Details

HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
Peter Decker and Rina Lazarus Series , #20
Product dimensions:
6.30(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.50(d)

Meet the Author

Faye Kellerman is the author of twenty-seven novels, including twenty New York Times bestselling mysteries that feature the husband-and-wife team of Peter Decker and Rina Lazarus. She has also penned two bestselling short novels with her husband, New York Times bestselling author Jonathan Kellerman, and recently has teamed up with her daughter Aliza to co-write a teen novel titled Prism. She lives 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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Gun Games 3.9 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 92 reviews.
Books_And_Chocolate More than 1 year ago
This story focuses on fifteen-year-old Gabe, the Decker's foster son, as the topic revolves around teenage gangs and bullying, and how such things sometimes lead to suicide. With the topic being about teenagers, sex is a part of that and became a central theme in this story which was a distraction for me because it was more explicit than was necessary and made an otherwise good plot less than the standard I've come to expect from Kellerman's series. While the story focuses on Gabe and his new girlfriend, I felt that they didn't talk and act like typical teens, especially 14-year-old Yasmine, and although I know teenage boys think about sex most of the time, it just got to be too much page after page in this story and took away from the important topic of teen bullying and suicide. I really looked forward to this newest title as a fan of the series but was left disappointed. I received a copy of this book for review from the publisher but the opinion of it is my own and was not solicited, nor was a positive review required.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I found the "love story" too long, drawn out and "sappy" for one of Faye Kellerman's books. I like the play between Peter and Rina as it seems real...but the Gabe romance was too Danielle Steele for me.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is the first Faye Kellerman book I've read and I loved it! I went on to see if previous books containedGabe and his parents and found it and read it. I hope Ms Kellerman continues to include Gabe, the pianistic prodigy in future books as I found myself identifying with him in so many ways. Musically,I identify and know the music pieces mentioned as I performed them. I read some of the reviews and felt that some of the comments were made by individuals with siblings and what they "know" of "only children" is probably hearsay or what has been reflected by the media. I hope the author continues to write with Gabe included and that his musical genius flowers and blossoms including his knowledge of guns and everything he has learned from his father and mother and doesn't want to follow in their footsteps. Also, I'd like to know how his relationship with his half-sister develops. Keep up the good work, Ms. Kellerman. I am a loyal fan(I've read the first three books you've written).
tedfeit0 More than 1 year ago
In this latest installment of the Decker/Lazarus series, the author attempted to inject a slightly different approach to the formula. It probably will upset some readers, and intrigue others. Some will look at the novel and consider it pornographic, in a sense. Others might see it as sensitivity akin to the current controversy over same sex marriage. Whatever stance, the plot is a stimulating one, with the intersecting of two very different sets of characters. The story begins with the mother of a high school boy who has committed suicide visiting Peter Decker in an effort to find out why he did it. Although the coroner has ruled it a suicide, Decker is intrigued enough to look into the matter, especially when a second suicide of a pupil from the same school occurs. The novel then continues to look into what appears to be a group of bullying students, combined with the teenage love affair of Gabe Donatti, the 15-year-old piano genius living with Peter and Rina, and an orthodox Persian teenager who attends the school at which Lazarus teaches. As in the previous novels in the series, the well-written book is full of homespun allusions. Some of the techniques to flavor the teenage atmosphere, like excessive texting, certainly may be off-putting to many readers, but is an apt portrayal of communication for this age group. That said, it is a good read and is recommended.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
yes the young love was a bit much at times.. but it was about right hormonal teenagers.. overall I enjoyed the book and the plot was a very good one. Issues that are really going on in many school around the country.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I have read all of this series and delightedly await each new book. This book is losing me. I am still in the middle of it but waiting for it to get better or be over. As a mother who has parented four teenagers, the dialogue between Gabe and Yasmine feels stilted and unreal to me. Yasmine's character may be more appropriate to how she is being raise-- the sheltering of her family and religious school environment-- than does Gabe's character, which seems simplistic and forced and too adult-like. In particular, his lack of any apparent sadness around his abandonment by his mother hit me as way off the mark. Maybe it will get better as i reach the second half.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
My first try certainly demands at least a couple more
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
nnoniemonie More than 1 year ago
Didn't realize I was buying a teen love story that made the twilight series look entertaining. Total waste of money and time. Couldn't even finish it. Don't waster your time or money on this
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Tax2008 More than 1 year ago
Loved it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
MikerFL More than 1 year ago
You won't be disappointed with this Faye Kellerman crime and family angst story that she does so masterfully time and time again. A solid 4 star all the way through.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Really enjoyed this book! But haven't read a book in the Peter Decker series that I haven't enjoyed!k
LaryB More than 1 year ago
Faye Kellerman's, Peter Decker and Rina Lazarus, detective series is right up there with Tony Hillerman's. Along with a really good detective story Faye Kellerman offers a look into the Jewish world and religious life of Los Angeles in the same way that Hillerman delved into the Hopi and Navajo world and religion. This adds a depth to their stories that isn't found in the typical detective genre. Kellerman's books are always well written and well plotted and "Gun Games" is a great addition to the series.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I always envoy Faye Kellerman and this is no exception. I especially like the diversity of cultures. And the interesting way you find out what really happened.
AGK More than 1 year ago
All of Fay Kellerman's book are great. I would recommend it highly.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great novel in series.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I am a huge fan of all three Kellermans, but this book felt like it just ended, leaving you feeling no resolution to the story.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago