The first book in the hugely popular Peter Decker and Rina Lazarus series from New York Times bestselling author Faye Kellerman
A woman who thought she was safe…
Detective Peter Decker is used to working difficult cases. But even he is shocked by the call that comes in from the remote yeshiva community in the hills behind Los Angeles. Their sanctuary has been shattered – a woman has been viciously attacked after leaving the bathhouse.
A community shocked to its core…
The community is highly suspicious of outsiders – persuading people to talk will be difficult. But against the odds, Decker forms a connection with the young widow who discovered the victim, Rina Lazarus.
A case that gets harder at every turn…
Together, Rina and Decker work to expose the culprit. But then a shocking revelation comes to light. Will Decker uncover the truth? And even if he does, will it tear him and Rina apart?
Praise for Faye Kellerman
‘Kellerman is an excellent writer' The Times
'Very exciting' Daily Mail
'Brutal but thoughtful and well plotted, fast moving and well told' Observer
'Kellerman creates a claustrophobic atmosphere, against a background of seediness, violence and distrust' Sunday Telegraph
'Kellerman moves her gritty mean streets LA plot along with breakneck pace' Irish Independent
‘Hands down, the most refreshing mystery couple around’ People
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.
APPLE BOOKS REVIEW
The first book in a long-running series, The Ritual Bath showcases Faye Kellerman’s knack for infusing a classic whodunit with complex moral questions. When a married woman from a small Orthodox Jewish community is sexually assaulted, Rina Lazarus, the young woman who reports the crime, and Peter Decker, the investigating Los Angeles police detective, develop a deeply personal connection that changes both their lives. Written in Kellerman’s incisive yet sensitive style, and rich with insight into religious observances, this is an evocative and thrilling examination of devotion, ritual and temptation. With the rigid atmosphere of the vulnerable community repeatedly punctured by moments of harsh violence, and the tension and intimacy between the main characters ratcheting up, Kellerman keeps our heart rates high until the very end.
Like the series it inspired, Kellerman's award-winning 1986 debut novel combines police procedure, via hard-boiled LAPD detective Peter Decker, with Judaic rites and rituals courtesy of its heroine Rina Lazarus, an ultra-Orthodox widowed mother of two. Decker and Lazarus are brought together by the brutal rape of a young bride-to-be at the mikvah (a bathhouse used in the purification ritual) that Rina manages in the Hollywood hills. Mitchell Greenberg nicely vocalizes the story from Decker's point of view, with the detective struggling to stick to his sleuthing in spite of his developing feelings for Rina. The novel continually rings true, from explaining various Orthodox beliefs and customs to Decker and his crew's no-nonsense unmasking of the villain. Greenberg moves in and out of the novel's elements smoothly and efficiently. He paces the police work with just the right sense of urgency and frustration; handles the romantic sequences with the proper emotion and without a hint of sentimentality; and breezes through the many Jewish-centric passages with the confidence and clarity of a yeshiva graduate. An Avon paperback.