In this thrilling chapter in Faye Kellerman’s bestselling series, Rina Lazarus makes a shocking discovery in the woods of her upstate New York community that leads her husband, police detective Peter Decker, through a series of gruesome, decades old, unsolved murders, pointing to a diabolical, serial killer who’s been hiding in plain sight.
On a bright and crisp September morning, while walking a bucolic woodland trail, Rina Decker stumbles upon human remains once buried deep beneath the forest grounds. Immediately, she calls her husband, Peter, a former detective lieutenant with LAPD, now working for the local Greenbury Police. Within hours, a vista of beauty and tranquility is transformed into a frenetic crime scene. The body has been interred for years and there is scant physical evidence at the gravesite: a youthful skeleton, a skull wound and long dark strands of hair surrounding the bony frame. As Decker and his partner, Tyler McAdams, further investigate, they realize that they’re most likely dealing with a missing student from the nearby Five Colleges of Upstate—a well-known and well-respected consortium of higher learning where Rina works.
And when more human remains are found in the same area, Decker and McAdams know this isn’t just a one-off murder case. Short-staffed and with no convenient entry into the colleges, Decker enlists Rina’s help to act as the eyes and ears of campus gossip. Winding their way through a dangerous labyrinth of steely suspects and untouchable academics, Decker, McAdams, and Rina race to protect their community from a psychopathic killer still in the area—and on the hunt for a fresh victim.
In bestseller Kellerman's so-so 24th novel featuring Peter Decker, a retired LAPD homicide detective who now works for the Greenbury, N.Y., police, and his wife, Rina Lazarus (after 2015's The Theory of Death), a routine morning hike for Rina becomes the catalyst for the search for a serial killer after she accidentally steps on skeletal remains, which may belong to one of several students reported missing in recent years from the so-called Five Colleges of Upstate. Peter and his sidekick, Tyler McAdams, an affluent law student who's spending his summer with the police and has become a virtual family member, investigate; the pair eventually identify the victim, before more skeletons are unearthed in the area of the original find. Rina inserts herself into the case, despite her husband's fears for her safety. The plot line unfolds predictably, and there's no real emotional tension, despite a spat between Peter and Rina over watching TV. Series fans will be pleased to learn that the couple's twin grandsons, although only seven, are basketball prodigies at their Philadelphia school.
I really like Kellerman and her Decker/Lazarus series, but some of the more recent ones have only been so-so. This book has a tighter story (although there's quite a number of folks to keep track of) and the return of some favorite characters from other books. This was a good read.
Love all Faye Kellerman’s books!
I especially love Decker/Rina series. Love these characters forever!
Another great read in the Decker/Lazarus series by Faye Kellerman. The only issue I have is the treatment of the transgender character. Certainly Ms. Kellerman attempted to be respectful, however the book is rife with misconceptions and misgendering. To be clear, a person does not have to have surgery to transition and should be called by the gender with which they identify. In fact, there are also many people who identify as non-binary or gender-non conforming or gender fluid.