Justice (Peter Decker and Rina Lazarus Series #8)

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The cruel and bizarre slaying of a beautiful teen leads Detective Decker into the dark heart of an exotic subculture: the seamy, sometimes violent world of Southern California's rootless, affluent youth. But even the confession of a disturbed kid with cold "killer eyes" cannot soothe Decker's inner torment. For he knows in his gut this crime goes much deeper and higher than anyone expects — and that true justice, brutal and complete, has yet to be done.

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Justice (Peter Decker and Rina Lazarus Series #8)

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Overview

The cruel and bizarre slaying of a beautiful teen leads Detective Decker into the dark heart of an exotic subculture: the seamy, sometimes violent world of Southern California's rootless, affluent youth. But even the confession of a disturbed kid with cold "killer eyes" cannot soothe Decker's inner torment. For he knows in his gut this crime goes much deeper and higher than anyone expects — and that true justice, brutal and complete, has yet to be done.

The bestselling author of The Ritual Bath and Sanctuary continues her acclaimed series featuring L.A.P.D. homicide detective Peter Decker and his keen-witted, beautiful wife, Rina Lazarus. While worried about his own teenage daughter's safety at college, Peter is called upon to investigate the murder of a high school prom queen. He uncovers a shocking underside to the school's affluent clique, especially in the quise of a gifted yet disturbed cellist who is the prime suspect.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's 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. (Sept.)
Emily Melton
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.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780380724987
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 8/28/1996
  • Series: Peter Decker and Rina Lazarus Series , #8
  • Format: Mass Market Paperback
  • Pages: 480
  • Product dimensions: 4.18 (w) x 6.75 (h) x 1.20 (d)

Meet the Author

Faye  Kellerman

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

Biography

It's tempting to compare Peter Decker and Rina Lazarus to Dashiell Hammett's classic crime-solving couple, Nick and Nora Charles. But Faye Kellerman's duo, who debuted in 1983, bear more resemblance to her own husband-wife dynamic with fellow bestselling thriller author Jonathan Kellerman. Decker is an L.A. cop; wife Rina is an Orthodox Jewish mom who gets very involved in her husband's work. The series comes with a love story built in, since in the first title, Ritual Bath, Lazarus is a witness meeting Detective Decker for the first time. Over the next dozen-odd novels, the two fall in love, get married, have children and solve crimes along the way.

Kellerman, who was inspired by her husband to begin writing, is also the author of Moon Music, a contemporary thriller set in Las Vegas, and The Quality of Mercy, a historical novel of Elizabethan England. Fans needn't worry, however, that Kellerman is going to abandon the pair she is best known for. "I never tire of them," Kellerman says in an interview on her publisher's web site of Decker and Lazarus. "I like them very much, but to keep them fresh is the main reason why I have two 'outside-the-series' or 'stand alone' books. Once in a while you have to sit back and gain some perspective on these people that you are writing about year after year."

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

Read an Excerpt

Chapter One

Pages 7 and 8 of the paper were missing. National news section. Specifically, national crime stories. Decker laid the thin sheets down, his stomach in a tight, wet knot. "Rina, where's the rest of the paper?"

Rina continued to scramble eggs. "It's not all there?"

"No, it's not all there."

"You've checked?"

"Yes, I've checked."

"Maybe Ginger got to it," Rina said casually. "You know how the dog loves newsprint. I think she uses it for a breath freshener -- "

"Rina -- "

"Peter, could you please distract Hannah from the dishwasher and get her seated so I can feed her? And take the plums out of the utensil basket while you're at it."

Decker stared at his wife, got up, and lifted his pajama-clad two-year-old daughter. She was holding a plum in each hand.

"You want a plummer, Daddy?"

"Yes, Hannah Rosie, I'd love a plum."

"You take a bite?" She stuffed the fruit in her father's mouth. As requested, Decker took a bite. Juice spewed out of the overripe plum, wetting his pumpkin-colored mustache, rills of purple running down his chin. He seated his daughter in her booster and wiped his mouth.

"You want a bite, Daddy?"

"No thanks, Hannah -- "

"You want a bite, Daddy?" Hannah said, forcefully.

"No -- "

"You want a bite, Daddy?" Hannah was almost in tears.

"Take another bite, Peter," Rina said. "Eat the whole Plum."

Decker took the plum and consumed it. Hanna offered him the second plum. "Honey, if I eat any more plums, I'll be living in the bathroom."

Rina laughed. "I'll take the plum, Hannah."

"No!" the baby cried out. Her face wasflushed with emotion. "Daddy take the plummer."

Decker took the second piece of fruit. "Why do you keep buying plums?"

"Because she keeps asking for them."

"That doesn't mean you have to buy them."

"As if you can resist her requests? I noticed the other day she was playing with your gold cuff links -- "

"She likes shiny things," Decker interrupted. "I like how you skillfully changed the subject, darlin'. What happened to the newspaper?"

Rina set a dish of eggs in front of Hannah and poured her orange juice. She shrugged helplessly. "What can I tell you?"

Decker felt nauseated. "Bastard struck again."

Rina nodded.

Decker said nothing. But Rina could see his jaw working overtime. She said, "Cindy called this morning. She asked me to hide it from you. I shouldn't have done it. But she sounded so desperate for an ally. She couldn't handle you and her mother's hysteria at the same time. Besides, there's nothing anyone can do -- "

"What do you mean, 'There's nothing anyone can do'?" Decker snapped. "I can do something. I can bring her back home out of that hellhole."

"LA's not a haven from crime -- "

"It's better than New York."

"Not all of New York is like the area around Columbia, Peter."

"Well, that's just fine and dandy except Cindy happens to go to Columbia." Decker got up from the dining-room table and walked into the kitchen, staring out the back window at his acre's worth of ranchland. The riding corral was now a foot-deep mud pit; the stables had been battered from the recent storms. Behind his property line stood the foothills bleeding silt. His house was fine so far, the gunk at least five hundred yards away. But who knew? He had plenty of garbage to deal with here. He didn't need problems three thousand miles away.

"Did you talk to her at all?" Decker asked.

"For a few minutes," Rina answered.

"How's she doing?"

Rina glanced at Hannah. "You want a video, muffin?"

The little girl nodded, licking egg-coated fingers. "Mickey Mouse."

"You've got it." Rina slipped the tape into the VCR, then walked into the kitchen. To her husband, she whispered, "How's she doing? She's shaken up, of course."

"Goddamn police! This is the third one and they don't seem one ounce closer to finding this maniac. What the hell are they doing?"

"That's an odd thing for you to say."

"I know incompetence when I see it."

"So what do you propose to do, Peter? Go out to New York and handle the investigation yourself?"

"I've seriously thought about it. I was in sex crimes for over a decade -- "

"Peter -- "

"Maybe I'll call the principal investigator -- "

"You don't have enough work at home?"

"It's been a slow month."

"Baruch Hashem," Rina said, blessing God.

"Baruch Hashem," Decker repeated. "Besides, this is my daughter we're talking about. I want to make sure everything possible is being done."

"I'm sure they're working overtime. Just like you'd be doing."

"Right. Overtime on doughnuts." Decker grimaced. "I know I'm not being fair. Frankly, I don't care."

Rina sighed. "Peter, why don't you go visit Cindy? I'm sure she'd be thrilled to see her six-foot-four detective father. She and all the other girls in the dorm. But go out as a protective father, not as a cop."

Decker drew his hand across his face. "Son of a bitch! Preying on young girls like that. God, I swear, Rina, if I come face-to-face with that sucker, I'm gonna shoot off his you-know-whats." He looked at his wife. "Was the latest one hurt? Of course she was hurt. I mean, was she beaten or anything?"

"No. Same MO."

The MO. Bastard sneaked up on the girls, brought them down from behind, placed a large paper bag over their heads, and raped them from the back. The victims had described the violation as strong and painful but mercifully fast. Before they could utter boo, the monster had been upon them.

Justice. Copyright © by Faye Kellerman. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.
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Table of Contents

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 23 )
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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 23 Customer Reviews
  • Posted March 30, 2011

    Justice

    I have enjoyed reading each book in this series but this is my favorite so far. I felt this book wouldn't let me put it down. I would recommed this series and especially this book to anyone.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 27, 2008

    Not very good

    I thought that this book was very disappointing. It was not very realistic and not very interesting. I also found that the changes to first person for one character seemed to have no real purpose and were just disruptive.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 4, 2004

    Brilliant

    Once I started reading this book I couldn't put it down. Up until the very end I was still trying to figure out who did it. With most books that I tend to read you have the story practically figured out half way through. Not this one!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 13, 1999

    I was disappointed...

    <P>I've read most of Kellerman's books and have always liked them. This one, however, let me down. There were just too many unanswered questions.<P>Who really killed Cheryl? What happened to that steroid popping kid Decker interviewed first? Who were the other kids with Chris and Cheryl at the motel and why didn't they realize something was amiss? How on earth did Teresa think she could hide her pregnancy from Chris? Why didn't Decker, a first rate cop, follow-up on the hit man angle? <P>The loose ends bothered me, but I'll keep reading Kellerman because I like her teaming of Decker and his 'koser-keeping' wife Rina.

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    Posted May 22, 2011

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