Sanctuary (Peter Decker and Rina Lazarus Series #7)

Sanctuary (Peter Decker and Rina Lazarus Series #7)

4.5 24
by Faye Kellerman

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A diamond dealer and his entire family have mysteriously disappeared from their sprawling Los Angeles manor, leaving the estate undisturbed and their valuables untouched. Investigating detective Decker is stumped—faced with a perplexing case riddled with dead ends. Then a second dealer is found murdered in manhattan, catapulting Decker and his wife, Rina, into a… See more details below


A diamond dealer and his entire family have mysteriously disappeared from their sprawling Los Angeles manor, leaving the estate undisturbed and their valuables untouched. Investigating detective Decker is stumped—faced with a perplexing case riddled with dead ends. Then a second dealer is found murdered in manhattan, catapulting Decker and his wife, Rina, into a hearstopping maze of murder and intrigue that spans the globe. . . .only to touch down dangerously in their own backyard.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Orthodox Jewish housewife Rina Lazarus and her husband-and convert to Judaism-LAPD Detective Sergeant Peter Decker (last seen in Grievous Sin) have their hands full in their seventh adventure. While Peter and his partner, Det. Marge Dunn, investigate the disappearance of prosperous diamond dealer Arik Yalom, his wife and their teenage sons, Rina plays hostess to Honey Klein, visiting from New York with her children and obviously escaping problems with her Hasidic diamond-dealer husband, Gershon. When the bodies of the older Yaloms are found buried on a local mountainside, their sons are seen as possible suspects or potential victims fleeing for their lives. The Yalom case leads Peter to L.A.'s diamond center; to elegant Kate Milligan, a power in the South African diamond trade; and eventually to Israel, with Rina along as interpreter. After Gershon Klein is found dead, Honey and her kids vanish too, further complicating this overrich brew. Scouring the environs of Jerusalem in their search for the missing Yalom boys, turning up bomb plots as they go, Peter and Rina get a fix on the killer and take an inside look at some Israeli institutions. The multitude of plot threads and characters, however, may trip up some readers. Mystery Guild selection; Doubleday Book Club alternate; author tour. (Oct.)
Library Journal
Still living in Los Angeles, Sgt. Peter Decker and his Jewish wife, Rina, work on a series of murders that take them to Israel by way of the international diamond trade. From the author of Grievous Sin (LJ 8/93).
Emily Melton
Kellerman fans will be thrilled with her latest Lazarus/Decker story. As usual, the author has combined fine writing, spirited characters, and a suspenseful, original plot; has woven in enlightening facts and anecdotes about modern Judaism; has added heartwarming glimpses of Jewish family life; and has capped it all with a stunning climax. L.A.P.D. sergeant Pete Decker and his Orthodox Jewish wife, Rina Lazarus, the parents of a baby daughter, are caught up in a case involving Rina's old school chum, Honey Klein, who comes to stay with the Deckers after leaving her diamond-merchant husband. When Honey and her children mysteriously disappear, Rina is first puzzled and then alarmed, especially considering that Pete is working on a double homicide involving another Jewish diamond merchant and his family. To solve the case, the Deckers travel to Israel and find themselves risking their lives to track down the disturbing truth. As long as Kellerman keeps writing like this, there's no doubt her books will be in high demand in bookstores and libraries everywhere. High marks for this main selection of the Mystery Guild and alternate selection of the Doubleday Book Club.

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Product Details

HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
Peter Decker and Rina Lazarus Series, #7
Edition description:
Product dimensions:
4.18(w) x 6.75(h) x 1.08(d)

Read an Excerpt

Chatper One

The call was a surprise; the reason behind it even more so. Though Rina had known Honey Klein nee Hersh for years—the two girls had been classmates—she had never considered her a close friend. Their small Orthodox high school had had a student body of eighty-seven at the time of Rina's graduation: twenty-two seniors—twelve boys, ten girls. Rina had been friendly with all the girls. But as the years passed, the two women had crossed paths only sporadically; the chance meetings had held nothing beyond pleasantries. Honey had married young to an ultra-religious Chasidic diamond dealer. She had four kids. She seemed happy.

So when Honey asked if she and the kids might spend a week with Rina and her family in Los Angeles, Rina thought it strange. Her first thoughts were: Why me and why here?

Peter's ranch was located in the rural, portion of the San Fernando Valley. The environs had wide streets and big commercial plots roomy enough for storage centers, wholesalers, and warehouses. Sure, the newer residential neighborhoods sprouted tract homes and apartment buildings, but there were still many ranches large enough to stable horses and livestock—parcels similar to Peter's homestead, her homestead now. The area was LA's last refuge of undeveloped scrubland, most of it hugging the timbered foothills of Angeles Crest National Park.

Rina knew Honey had closer friends residing in the heart of the Jewish communities—in the Fairfax area, Hancock Park, or the newer westside area of Beverlywood. Honey had girlfriends who owned homes within walking distance of the Orthodox synagogues, of the kosherrestaurants and bakeries. No one deeply religious stayed at the Deckers' ranch because it was so isolated. But when Rina had mentioned the geography over the phone, Honey had brushed it off.

"So it's a little off the beaten track," Honey stated. "I figured it's about time I let the kids see the other side."

"The other side?" Rina asked.

"You know ... how the other half lives."

"This isn't exactly a den of iniquity, Honey. I still cover my hair."

"No, no!" Honey protested. "I didn't mean that. I'm not criticizing you. Who am I to judge? By the other side, I meant the fun stuff—Universal Studios, Disneyland, Knott's Berry Farm, Grauman's Chinese Theater with the movie stars' footprints. Is that old relic still around?"

"It's called Mann's Chinese Theater now," Rina said. "You aren't planning to take the kids to the movies?"

"No," Honey said. "Just the outside of the building. And the sidewalks with the stars in them. They're still around, right?"


"No, we're definitely not going to the movies," Honeysaid, quickly. "It would be too much for them. We don'thave televisions here. We don't even have phones in thevillage. Well, that's not true. There are phones in theproduce store, the butcher shop, and the bakery. Foremergencies. But we don't have phones in the houses."

Rina knew lots of religious people who didn't own television sets or go to the movies. She knew plenty of Orthodox adults who shied away from popular fiction and magazines like Time and Newsweek. The stories were too lurid, the pictures were prurient. But no phones in the houses was a first.

"Since when is it halachically forbidden to use a phone?" Rina stared at the receiver. "Aren't you using one now?"

"I'm using the one at the bakery," Honey said. "I know it sounds like every year some group is trying to outfrum the other. That another group goes to more and more extremes to shut out the outside world. But the Rebbe's not trying to do that."

The Rebbe, Rina thought quickly. Which Rebbe? Most people thought the Chasidim were one cohesive group. In fact, there were many Chasidic sects, each one interpreting the philosophy of the Ba'al Shem Tov a little bit differently.

"I'm sure you have your reasons, Honey. I don't mean to sound disparaging. Goodness knows most people think me strange, being as religious as I am. And poor Peter. The guys at the station house think he's gone nuts. Like you said, who am I to judge?"

"You have to understand the Leibben philosophy," Honey said. "Modem machines drive wedges between people."

Leibben, Rina thought. That's right. Honey had married a Leibbener Chasid.

"Once you get used to not using a phone, it really is very nice," Honey explained. "We take walks in the park and schmooze. We have lots of afternoon gettogethers ... tea parties. It's kind of ... quaint." Honey giggled. Rina remembered it as one of the nervous mannerisms Honey had developed after her mother died. "Anyway, if putting us up is too much for you..."

"I'd love to see you, Honey, if I can arrange it. Things are a little hectic since the baby's—"

"You had a baby?" Honey gasped. "That's so exciting! When?"

"Hannah's nine months old."

"Oh, Rina, how wonderful! You finally got your little girl! You must be thrilled!"

"I'm very lucky." Rina noticed her voice had dropped to a whisper. The birth had gone smoothly but there were complications afterward. Hannah would be Rina's last baby and not by choice. There was a long pause.

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