The act of reading ... begins on a flat surface, counter or page, and then gets stirred and chopped and blended until what we make, in the end, is a dish, or story, all our own.
— Adam Gopnik
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August 10, 2010
I love to read series mysteries, and I'm sure I'm not the only ones who reads them as much (if not more) to see what's happening with the recurring characters than for the crime puzzle. Faye Kellerman's Decker/Lazarus series (LAPD detective Peter Decker, who is just turning 60, and his beautiful wife Rina Lazarus) has a lot of these charms (Jewish religion and traditions, a blended family, and a lot of cooking!), and there's a little bit of the homefront in this book. The first of the intersecting crime stories involves Terry McLaughlin, who was involved as a very young woman in one of Decker's earlier cases and is now an emergency room doctor, married to known hitman. When she disappears, the Deckers take in her son Gabe, a 14-year-old musical prodigy. The second case involves a beautiful young nurse who is found hanging from a rafter at a construction site.
The developing relationship between Gabe and the Deckers is more interesting, and more satisfying, than the murder inquiry, and that's OK with me. I was a little disappointed with the end of the book: both the somewhat gratuitous resolution of the cases (where did THAT come from?), and with the writing. It almost seems that Kellerman rushed through the telling so she could get back to Gabe. And when you're not especially enjoying a book, you start to notice faults...strained little bits of dialogue, and the odd need Kellerman has to keep telling us what her detectives are wearing, for not apparent reason.
I didn't dislike this book...I just felt that I was reading it dutifully, not out of great enjoyment. I'm guess I'm glad, though, that I can walk it down to the library tonight, and then turn back to Emma and Edith and even a little more Georgette Heyer. (I want to read one of her mysteries, and the one that's arriving soon is called Envious Casca. I chose it solely because of its wonderful title.)
Noted under: Mysteries
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