The Beast (Peter Decker and Rina Lazarus Series #21) [NOOK Book]


When reclusive inventor, Hobart Penny, is found dead in his apartment, the cops think his pet—an adult female tiger—attacked the elderly billionaire. But it soon becomes clear that the beast that killed him is all too human.

Digging into the victim's life, LAPD Lieutenant Peter Decker and his colleagues, Detectives Marge Dunn and Scott Oliver, discover that Penny was an exceptionally peculiar man with exotic tastes, including kinky sex with ...

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The Beast (Peter Decker and Rina Lazarus Series #21)

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When reclusive inventor, Hobart Penny, is found dead in his apartment, the cops think his pet—an adult female tiger—attacked the elderly billionaire. But it soon becomes clear that the beast that killed him is all too human.

Digging into the victim's life, LAPD Lieutenant Peter Decker and his colleagues, Detectives Marge Dunn and Scott Oliver, discover that Penny was an exceptionally peculiar man with exotic tastes, including kinky sex with call girls.

Following a trail of clues that leads from a wildlife sanctuary in the San Bernardino Mountains to the wild nightlife of Las Vegas, the detectives are left juggling too many suspects and too few answers. To crack a case involving the two most primal instincts—sex and murder—Decker must turn to a man with expert knowledge of both: Chris Donatti, the dangerous man who is also the father of Decker's foster son, Gabriel Whitman.

As their work and intimate worlds collide, family crises and work-related responsibilities might prove too much for Decker's career. When all these shocking truths come out, exactly how will Decker and his wife, Rina, survive?

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Soap opera-ish family drama distracts from the main plot line of bestseller Kellerman’s 21st Decker/Lazarus novel (after 2012’s Gun Games). LAPD veteran Peter Decker looks into the bizarre case of Hobart Penny, a wealthy recluse in his late 80s, whose body was discovered after neighbors heard roars from inside his apartment. The noises emanated from a full-grown Siberian tiger that Penny kept as a pet, but the victim died of blunt force trauma to the forehead, and was also shot in the back. With the dead man’s millions at stake, Decker logically probes those who could have benefited from killing Penny. That potentially intriguing set-up devolves into a fairly dull procedural. And even series fans may lose patience at the large amount of time given to a subplot involving Decker’s 17-year-old foster son, Gabe Whitman, a piano prodigy in love with a 16-year-old girl, which only serves to further burnish Decker and wife Rina’s reputation for being über-caring parents. (Aug.)
Kirkus Reviews
Kellerman puts her LAPD detectives to the test in a most unusual outing, even by West Coast standards. Although billed as another Decker/Lazarus novel, Kellerman's story is less about them and more about the detective team of Marge Dunn and Scott Oliver, who work with Decker. Decker's wife, the Lazarus of the pair, plays a peripheral and virtually negligible role in this story, which limps along on a very silly premise. When neighbors in an ordinary apartment complex complain, responding police find what they believe to be a big cat and some very bad smells coming from one of the apartments. After breaking in, they discover the decaying body of a reclusive multimillionaire, guarded by his Siberian tiger. But that's not all they uncover; as the mystery deepens, they discern that their dead man suffered from both a bashed-in head and a gunshot wound. In addition to being doubly dead, he was also doubly eccentric in a not-so-good way, as the detective team finds when they delve into Hobart Penny's personal life. An ex-wife, a couple of grown children, a wildlife sanctuary director, prissy next-door neighbors, a belligerent super and assorted ladies of ill-repute add to the growing list of suspects in the case. In the meantime, the author supplements the murder with a side story that grew out of her previous work and involves a gifted, musical teen who has become Decker's foster son and the love the boy has for a girl he can't possess. The sappy romance adds nothing to the storyline, and Kellerman's main tale, with lions and tigers and bears, is often so silly that readers will have to suspend their incredulity in order to go the distance. Except for the snappy dialogue and excellent grasp of police procedure, this Kellerman vehicle has little to redeem the hard-to-swallow plot, extraneous and unremarkable love story, and odd fashion minutia, which seems designed to function mainly as page filler.
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Product Details

  • BN ID: 2940043729828
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 8/6/2013
  • Series: Peter Decker and Rina Lazarus Series , #21
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 384
  • Sales rank: 430,359
  • File size: 740 KB

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.


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

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