Street Dreams (Peter Decker and Rina Lazarus Series #15)

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While on routine patrol, LAPD Officer Cindy Decker rescues a newborn abandoned in an alley Dumpster. But she can't call it a night until she sees the infant safe in a hospital, cared for by a professional - in this case a male nurse with intense eyes and lots of charm.

Now the hunt is on for the mother, more than likely a scared and desperate girl in need of medical attention. Armed with advice from her overworked father, Detective Peter Decker, Cindy searches through the mean ...

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Street Dreams (Peter Decker and Rina Lazarus Series #15)

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Overview

While on routine patrol, LAPD Officer Cindy Decker rescues a newborn abandoned in an alley Dumpster. But she can't call it a night until she sees the infant safe in a hospital, cared for by a professional - in this case a male nurse with intense eyes and lots of charm.

Now the hunt is on for the mother, more than likely a scared and desperate girl in need of medical attention. Armed with advice from her overworked father, Detective Peter Decker, Cindy searches through the mean streets of her inner-city Hollywood district, following a trail filled with helpless people and violent gangs who prey on the innocent.

With each new lead, the twisted journey gets darker, battering Cindy's complex relationships and endangering her very life. When Decker and Decker join forces, can this edgy duo put personal issues aside to catch a vicious culprit before he strikes again?

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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble
The Barnes & Noble Review
Bestselling author Faye Kellerman intertwines police procedural and personal plots in a double-barreled mystery featuring Detective Peter Decker and his daughter, Cindy, an up-and-coming young LAPD officer.

This time out, Peter takes a supporting role in two investigations -- both involving issues that blur the lines between right and wrong. Peter's wife, Rina Lazarus, is determined to look into her grandmother's long-ago murder in Germany and to find a way to right past wrongs. And Cindy is hot on the trail of justice in a very current crime -- pursuing a desperate and dangerous search for the mother of an abandoned baby she rescued from a Hollywood dumpster. Peter draws on his extensive investigative expertise to provide backup for the two most important women in his life, as each of them follows her own perilous path to the truth. Faye Kellerman again weaves a tapestry of crime and punishment in which racial and religious issues have a powerful impact on human relationships, political issues, and criminal investigations. Sue Stone

Publishers Weekly
Bestseller Kellerman's latest Peter Decker/Rina Lazarus novel (after 2002's Stone Kiss) will please her fans, but is unlikely to make new converts. When Cindy Decker, Peter's LAPD officer daughter (who had a big role in 2000's Stalker), finds an abandoned baby in a dumpster, she sets out to track down the developmentally disabled mother, suspecting that the child may have been the product of a rape. Her fellow officers discourage her efforts, while an attempt on her life sparks conflict with an alarmed Peter. Romance occupies Cindy, an observant Jew, as much as her professional career. Conveniently, the sexy and caring black pediatric nurse who cares for the baby turns out to be an observant Ethiopian Jew who is instantly smitten with her. Other coincidences abound, including Cindy's witnessing of a fatal hit-and-run that may be connected with the sexual assault she alone believes occurred. A minor subplot concerning the murder of stepmother Rina's grandmother in 1920s Munich simply peters out. Details of Jewish religious observance amount to superficial trappings. Cindy mentions dealing with an earlier trauma through therapy, but the author never lets the reader in on any of her sessions. The solution to the crime comes almost as an afterthought in this overlong book. Others, and Kellerman herself, have done a better job of melding a mystery plot with the challenges of maintaining Jewish identity in the modern world. 3-city author tour. (Aug. 1) Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
Library Journal
One wild night, LAPD Officer Cindy Decker starts out hunting for a mother who dumped her newborn and ends up having a life-threatening encounter with assorted drug lords. In the process, she calls on her dad-Kellerman stalwart Peter Decker-for help. Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
In the 15th of the series featuring LAPD Lieutenant Peter Decker and his Orthodox Jewish wife Rina Lazarus, a hot-blooded offspring upstages them. She's a firecracker, all right-Officer Cindy Decker, Peter's Ivy-educated daughter, with her smart mouth, explosive temper, and predisposition to ride roughshod over time-honored police protocols. If she's drawn to a case, she'll find a way to make it hers, heedless of high-echelon noses out of joint and veiled threats to her career. When Cindy finds a baby girl abandoned in a Dumpster, the officer's manual says that it's time to send in the detectives to locate the mother. Though Cindy takes a shot at being prudent, it really doesn't suit her. Drawn to the puzzle of the child's family, she's certain that somewhere out there is an answer waiting for her to discover it. With only two years on her service record and no gold shield in sight, she nevertheless plunges into an investigation that soon turns extraordinarily complex-not just a search for a missing mom, but a white-hot manhunt for rapist-killers. Tempestuous as she is, Cindy's no fool. She knows where to go when she's in over her head: to Peter, who helps her prove that the bottom-feeders are no match for the double Deckers. Incendiary Cindy rules. Fans of Kellerman (Stone Kiss, 2002, etc.) won't complain.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780446531313
  • Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
  • Publication date: 8/5/2003
  • Series: Peter Decker and Rina Lazarus Series , #15
  • Pages: 432
  • Product dimensions: 6.30 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 1.40 (d)

Meet the Author

Faye  Kellerman

FAYE KELLERMAN is the author of the bestselling Peter Decker/Rina Lazarus novels, as well as a thriller, Moon Music, and a historical novel, The Quality of Mercy. She lives in Los Angeles with her husband, Jonathan Kellerman, and their children.

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

Street Dreams


By Faye Kellerman

Warner Books

Copyright © 2003 Faye Kellerman
All right reserved.

ISBN: 0446531316


Chapter One

I saw him frantically waving the white flag, a man admitting defeat. As I pulled the cruiser into one of the alley's parking spaces, blocking a silver Mercedes S500, I realized that the banner was, in fact, a napkin. He wore a solid wall of white, the hem of a long, stained apron brushing his white jeans midshin. Though it was night, I could see a face covered with moisture. Not a surprise because the air was a chilly mist: typical May-gloom weather in L.A. I radioed my whereabouts to the dispatcher and got out, my right hand on my baton, the other swinging freely at my side. The alley stank of garbage, the odor emanating from the trash bins behind the restaurant. The flies, normally shy in the dark, were having a field day.

The rear area of The Tango was illuminated by a strong yellow spotlight above the back door. The man in white was short, five-seven at the most, with a rough, tawny complexion, a black mustache, and hands flapping randomly. He was agitated, talking bullet-speed Spanish. I picked up a few words, but didn't ask him to stop and translate, because I heard the noise myself-the highpitched wails of a baby.

"Where?" I yelled over his words. "Dónde?"

"Aquí, aquí!" He was pointing to an army-green Dumpster filled to the brim with blue plastic refuse bags.

"Call 911." I ran to the site and pulled out several bags, tearing one open and exposing myself to a slop of wilted salad greens, mushy vegetables, and golf balls of gray meat and congealed fat. As I sifted through the trash, my clean, pressed uniform and I became performance art, the deep blue cloth soaking up the oils and stains of previously pricey edibles. "I need help! Necesito ayuda! Ahorita."

"Sí, sí!" He dashed back inside.

The crying was getting louder and that was good, but there was still no sign of the wail's origin. My heart was slamming against my chest as I sorted through the top layer of bags. The bin was deep. I needed to jump inside to remove all the bags, but I didn't want to step on anything until I had checked it out. Three men came running out of the back door.

"Escalera!"-a ladder-I barked. "Yo necisito una escalera."

One went back inside, the other two began pulling out bags.

"Careful, careful!" I screamed. "I don't know where it is!" I used the word "it" because it could have been a thrown-away kitten. When agitated, felines sound like babies. But all of us knew it wasn't a cat.

Finally, the ladder appeared and I scurried up the steps, gingerly removing enough bags until I could see the bottom, a disc of dirty metal under the beam of my flashlight. I went over legs first and, holding the rim with my hands, lowered myself to the bottom. I picked a bag at random, checked inside, then hoisted it over the top when I satisfied myself that it didn't contain the source of the noise.

Slow, Cindy, I told myself. Don't want to mess this up.

With each bag removed, I could hear myself getting closer to the sound's origin. Someone had taken the time to bury it. Fury welled inside me, but I held it at bay to do a job. At the bottom layer, I hit pay dirt-a newborn girl with the cord still attached to her navel, her face and body filthy, her eyes scrunched up, her cries strong and tearless. I yelled out for something to wrap her in, and they handed me a fresh, starched tablecloth. I wiped down the body, cleaned out the mouth and nose as best as I could, and bundled her up-umbilicus and all. I held her up so someone could take her from me. Then I hoisted myself up and out.

The man who had flagged me down offered me a wet towel. I wiped down my hands and face. I asked him his name.

"Martino Delacruz."

"Good job, Señor Delacruz!" I smiled at him. "Buen trabajo."

The man's eyes were wet.

Moments later, the bundle was passed back to me. I felt grubby holding her, but obviously since I was the only woman in the crowd, I was supposed to know about these kinds of things.

Actually, I did know a thing or two about infants, having a half sister eighteen years my junior. Her mother, Rina-my stepmother -had become very ill after childbirth and guess who stepped up to the plate when my father was in a near state of collapse? (Who could have blamed him? Rina almost died.)

The positive side was the sisterly bonding, at least on my part. Hannah Rosie Decker was my only blood sibling, and they didn't come any cuter or better than she. I adored her. Matter of fact, I liked my father's family very much. Rina's sons were great kids and I loved them and respected them as much as anyone could love and respect step-relatives. Rina took wonderful care of my father, a feat worth noting because Dad was not the easiest person to get along with. I knew this from firsthand experience.

"Did anyone call 911?"

"Yo hable." Delacruz handed me another clean rag to wipe my dirty face.

"Thank you, señor." I had put a clean napkin over my shoulder and was rocking the baby against my chest. "If you can, get some warm sugar water and dunk a clean napkin into it. Then bring it to me."

The man was off in a flash. The baby's cries had quieted to soft sobs. I suddenly noticed that my own cheeks were warm and wet, thrilled that this incident had resolved positively. Delacruz was back with the sugar water-soaked napkin. I took it and put the tip of a corner into her mouth. Immediately, she sucked greedily. In the distance I heard a wail of sirens.

"We've got to get you to the hospital, little one. You're one heck of a strong pup, aren't you?"

I smelled as overripe as rotten fruit. I placed the infant back into Delacruz's arms. " Por favor, give her to the ambulance people. I need to wash my hands."

He took the bundle and began to walk with her. It was one of those Kodak moments, this macho man cooing in Spanish to this tiny, displaced infant. The job had its heartbreak, but it also had its rewards.

After rotating my shoulders to release the tension, I went through the back door of The Tango and asked one of the dishwashers where I could clean up. I heard a gasp and turned around. A man wearing a toque was shooing me away with dismissive hands. "Zis is a food establishment! You cannot come in here like zat!"

"Someone dumped a baby in the trash outside." My stare was fierce and piercing. "I just rescued her by opening up fifteen bags of garbage. I need to wash my hands!"

Toque was confused. "Here? A bébé?"

"Yes, sir! Here! A bébé!" I spotted a cloud of suds that had filled up a sink. Wordlessly, I walked over and plunged my hands inside very warm water. What the heck! All the china went into a dishwasher anyway, right? After ridding my hands of the grime, I ran the cold water full blast and washed my face. One of the kitchen workers was nice enough to offer me a clean towel. I dried myself off and looked up.

The ambulance had arrived, red strobe lights pulsing through the windows. I pointed to Mr. Toque and gave him my steely-eyed look. "Like heartburn, I'll be back. Don't go anywhere."

The EMTs had already cut the cord and were cleaning her up. I regarded the medics as they did their job. A sturdy black woman was holding the baby in her arms while a thin white kid with a consumptive complexion was carefully wiping down the infant's face. Both were gloved.

"How's she doing?" I asked.

They looked up. The thin kid smiled when he saw me. "Whew, you musta been hungry."

The kid's name tag said B. HANOVER. I gave him a hard stare and he recoiled. "Jeez. Just trying out a little levity, Officer. It breaks the tension."

"How's she doing?" I repeated.

The woman answered. Her name was Y. Crumack. "Fine, so far ... a success story."

"That's always nice."

The infant's placenta had been bagged and was resting on the ground a couple of feet away. It would be taken to a pathology lab, the tissue examined for disease and genetic material that might identify her. For no good reason, I picked up the bag.

Crumack said, "We'll need that. It has to be biopsied."

"Yeah, I know. Where are you taking her?"

"Mid-City Pediatric Hospital."

"The one on Vermont," I said.

"Only one I know," Hanover said. "Any ideas about the mom?"

"Not a clue."

"You should find her," Hanover informed me. "It would help everyone out."

"Wow, I hadn't thought about that," I snapped. "Thanks for sharing."

"No need to get testy," Hanover sneered.

Crumack opened the back door, strapping the baby in an infant seat. The wailing had returned. I assumed that to be a positive sign. I gave her the bagged placenta and she placed it in the ambulance.

"She sounds hungry," I said.

"Starved," Crumack answered. "Her abdomen is empty."

"Her head looks ... I don't know ... elongated, maybe? What's that all about?"

"Probably from being pushed out of the birth canal. Main thing is, it isn't crushed. She was real lucky, considering all the things that could have gone wrong. She could've swallowed something and choked; she could've suffocated; she could've been crushed. This is an A-one outcome." She patted my shoulder. "And you're part of it."

I felt my eyes water. "Hey, don't look at me, thank Señor Delacruz," I told her. "He's got good ears."

The man knew enough English to recognize a compliment. His smile was broad.

"Any idea how many hours she's been alive?" I asked the techs.

Hanover said, "Her body temperature hasn't dropped that much. Of course, she was insulated in all that garbage. I'd say a fairly recent dump."

"So what are we talking about?" I asked. "Two hours? Four hours?"

"Maybe," Crumack said. "Six hours, max."

I checked my watch. It was ten-thirty. "So she was dumped around four or five in the afternoon?"

"Sounds about right." Crumack turned to his partner. "Let's go."

I called out, "Mid-City Pediatric!"

Hanover reconfirmed it, slid behind the wheel, and shut the door, moving on out with sirens blaring and lights blazing. My arms felt incredibly empty. Although I rarely thought about my biological clock-I was only twenty-eight-I was suddenly pricked by maternal pangs. It felt good to give comfort. Long ago, that was my primary reason for becoming a cop.

The clincher was my father, of course.

He had discouraged me from entering the profession. Being the ridiculously stubborn daughter I was, his caveats had the opposite effect. There were taut moments between us, but most of that had been resolved. I truly loved being a cop and not because I had unresolved Freudian needs. Still, if I had been sired by a "psychologist dad" instead of a "lieutenant dad," I probably would have become a therapist.

I unhooked my radio from my belt and called the dispatcher, requesting a detective to the scene.

(Continues...)



Excerpted from Street Dreams by Faye Kellerman Copyright © 2003 by Faye Kellerman
Excerpted by permission. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.

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Table of Contents

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Interviews & Essays

An Interview with Faye Kellerman
This Peter Decker and Rina Lazarus mystery from Faye Kellerman brings back another favorite series character: the couple's daughter, Cindy Decker (last seen in Stalker), a bright young LAPD officer on the rise. The family's creator talked to Ransom Notes about her bestselling blend of police procedural and family drama.

Faye Kellerman: I've always loved mysteries and thrillers because they have an innate sense of justice. I write police procedurals, but I don't consider my novels police stories. More than anything, they revolve around people in crises and how they respond when faced with devastation and life-threatening situations.

In Street Dreams, we see that Cindy Decker shares her father's fierce sense of justice, ambition, and an obsessive need to see order in chaos. That's why they make such a good team and also why they're constantly at odds with one another. It's like looking in the mirror.

But life is not linear. It involves lots of challenges, lots of issues, and lots complex situations. That's why every character in the book has many facets, and each of them is "multitasking."

Cindy is not only dealing with the first blush of real love but also with some unexpected aspects of dating a black man. But it isn't race that divides Cindy and Koby, it's their workaholic personalities.

Rina is investigating the murder of her grandmother, but what she's really dealing with is a blank in her own history as she attempts to better understand her mother's life as a Holocaust survivor.

Ransom Notes: With the developing relationship between Peter and Cindy as a major focus in Street Dreams, what would you like to say about the issue of children following in the footsteps of a parent?

FK: Children often enjoy the same skills as their parents. Our children -- my husband is novelist Jonathan Kellerman -- were drawn to writing because they saw us do it and because it is intrinsically satisfying for them.

I've used that experience in writing about Peter and Cindy's commonalties. Of course, Cindy wants to be a cop. She adores her father, and the same quest for novelty that excites him in police work also excites her.

RN: You drew some interesting parallels between Cindy's profession and that of her new boyfriend, Koby, who is a nurse. Would you like to talk about that?

FK: Cindy and Koby are each hardworking, totally decent human beings with a strong sense of justice and an innate desire to help others. That's why they do what they do. That being said, they each also thrive on the uncertainty of their chosen professions.

RN: Can you tell us about your future plans for Rina and Peter, and for Cindy as well?

FK: There will definitely be more Peter/Rina books, as well as more Cindy Decker/Peter Decker novels. Of course, I have other ideas in the works as well. Like Peter, Cindy, and Koby, I've found that I thrive on creativity, and that can mean breaking from the series on occasion.

I would like to hear anything my readers want to tell me. Positive feedback is always easier to digest than negative feedback, but I'm an open-minded person. If you've got a complaint, I'll read it and respond. Readers can contact me through my publisher, Warner Books.

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Customer Reviews

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 1, 2003

    Worst Book she has ever written

    Did not hold interest. Did not even finish this book.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 28, 2003

    I love the Decker Family!

    I've read all of Faye Kellerman's books in this series beginning with the Ritual Bath and just finished Street Dreams. Couldn't put it down! Good, clean, exciting, passionate reading! I keep wondering when it will become either a series and / or movie, and even better, who will play who and most important, when is the next book coming out!

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 18, 2003

    Almost, but not quite

    Faye Kellerman and the Decker characters she created has been one of my favorites since the first book I read. This one, however, leaves much to be desired. She jumped aound too much and I lost touch with the thread of the story. I am sorry Ms. Kellerman, this one was a stinker.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 7, 2014

    Good story

    Really like these stories with the Decker family

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  • Posted October 5, 2013

    I usually enjoy reading all of Faye Kellerman's books, but this

    I usually enjoy reading all of Faye Kellerman's books, but this one is a true dud!! I don't think I can even finish it. Goes off in too many, boring directions. Sorry I wasted the money

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  • Posted June 15, 2012

    I'm a fan!!!

    What I like about the Decker/Lazarus books is that they are all different. I love mysteries written by women and these are exceptionally good.

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  • Posted January 4, 2012

    As always, a really good read.

    A bit different with a new location and some new characters. As always a great read. Still feeling sad for Inspector Lynley.

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  • Posted March 22, 2009

    Street Dreams will keep you wide awake!

    I really enjoyed this story in the series. I'm a Faye Kellerman fan and I've read all of Jonathan's as well, but I had missed a couple Lazarus/Decker covers and I'm so glad I back-tracked to this one. Delving into Cindy's personality and meeting Koby were a pleasure. Plus the story line and characters were original and interesting enough to keep pace for both the series first-timer reader and long-time reader. It's a crime story and a mystery, with a side-bar look at what it takes to move up in the police force hierarchy, that also manages to adeptly explore the introduction of an inter-racial love relationship between two very likable people! Whew! Yes it's fiction - and it's fun.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 22, 2004

    Really good

    I thought that it was a really great book. It had just the right balence of suspence and poatraying Cindy's conplex relationship with her father and her boyfriend Koby.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 10, 2004

    Interesting Plot

    Complex story and relationships. Enjoyed the read.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 21, 2004

    Satisfying Read

    SDs was a pleasant read. It was nice to read how Cindy grew up. The father-daughter relationship was intriguing. I liked the way FK wrote that into the story. I think it speaks a lot for Decker and Cindy. I was definitely entertained. Thanks FK!!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 28, 2004

    Nice twist

    What a nice twist, taking a minor caharcter from a previous book and giving them top billing. Very good!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 22, 2003

    Different but good

    It is always interesting when an author takes a minor character from previous books and gives them the leading role. I think the author succeeds in this case because we can all see a little of ourselves in Cindy. It is good to have LAPD portrayed as caring and sensitive. Being Jewish, I always find it interesting to see how the author weaves that into the tale. I enjoyed this book and await the next.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 6, 2003

    Street nigtmares

    I bought this book with mixed expectsctions. Kellerman has been up and down in the quality of her writing. This book certainly is one of her weaker efforts. The plot development is ad hoc and just plod along very slowly. There are no real suprises and in the end you just wake up from this nightmare of a book. I would recommend paperback or a library copy but do not waste your money on this literary hodgepodge of a book

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 20, 2003

    Can't Wait

    I read the whole series of Peter Decker/Rina Lazurus books. Can't wait for the next one. Cindy is a great detective to read about too. Glad she is getting more attention.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 24, 2003

    Fantastic!

    I'm thrilled that there's another Cindy Decker mystery! I've read all her other books and fans of her Decker/Lazarus mysteries will be in for a treat. Way to go! I'd like to see her spin off a series involving Jake as the detective. He's got the guts it looks like as shown in 'The Forgotten' He's also edgy and that gives his character sex appeal.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 21, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted November 15, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted May 22, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted January 17, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

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