The second book in the hugely popular Peter Decker and Rina Lazarus series from New York Times bestselling author Faye Kellerman
Los Angeles Police Detective Peter Decker had grown very close to Rina's young sons, Sammy and Jake, as he had to their mother, and he looked forward to spending a day of his vacation camping with the boys. A nice reprieve from the gruelling work of a homicide cop—until Sammy stumbles upon a gruesome sight . . .
Two human skeletons, charred beyond recognition, are identified by a forensic dentist as teenage girls—and for Decker, the father of a sixteen-year-old daughter, vacation time is over. Throwing himself professionally and emotionally into the murder case, he launches a very personal investigation: a quest that pulls him deep into the crack dens of Hollywood Boulevard and painfully close to the children of the streets and a nightmare world he must make his own.
Praise for Faye Kellerman:
‘Brutal, well plotted and fast moving’ Observer
‘Kellerman creates a claustrophobic atmosphere, against a background of seediness, violence and distrust’ Sunday Telegraph
About the author
Faye Kellerman is the author of thirty-one novels, including twenty-two New York Times bestselling mysteries that feature the husband-and-wife team of Peter Decker and Rina Lazarus. She has also penned two bestselling short novels with her husband, New York Times bestselling author Jonathan Kellerman and teamed up with her daughter Aliza to co-write a young adult novel, Prism. She lives with her husband in Los Angeles, California, and Santa Fe, New Mexico.
Peter Decker, detective sergeant in the LAPD, meets young widow Rina Lazarus while investigating an attempted rape at the yeshiva in Deep Canyon where she lives. Rina's religious convictions shape their ensuing relationship and Peter begins the process of converting, in part for his own spiritual needs and in part to be able to marry her. On a camping trip, Rina's young sons discover two charred skeletons, plunging Pete into a case that makes up one thread in this follow-up mystery to Kellerman's The Ritual Bath. Identifying the skeletons via complex dental work (Kellerman is a dentist and the wife of suspense novelist Jonathan Kellerman), Pete traces the murders back to a grisly pornography ring centering around "snuff'' films, which climax in death. Wading through the underside of LA's sex-for-sale world, Pete questions the purpose and value of religion in his life. As the horror and death toll mount, he struggles to reconcile the sordid realities with the religious practices of the yeshiva. Pete's growing isolation from Rina and increasing despair comprise the secondperhaps primaryfocus in mystery. Though leaning too heavily on Hebrew words and on details of dentistry, and with more graphic violence than at times seems necessary, Kellerman brings the case to a resounding resolution, suggesting as well a believable conclusion to Pete's personal dilemma even as she leaves his future with Rina unresolved.