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Sacred and Profane

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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 grueling work of a homicide cop-until Sammy stumbles upon a gruesome sight... Two human skeletons, charred beyond recognition, are identified by 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 grueling 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.

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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 grueling work of a homicide cop-until Sammy stumbles upon a gruesome sight... Two human skeletons, charred beyond recognition, are identified by 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 grueling 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.

30 review for Sacred and Profane

  1. 5 out of 5

    Mike (the Paladin)

    So, after liking the first 2 of these I read (the first I read was one farther along in the series) I've continued to follow our hero(es) through "life". And they have an eventful life. The detective is in love with our heroine. Our heroine however is a devout and actually believing and practicing Jew. There seems to be no way things can work out...even if they do love each other. Now Peter has to look at his life. Meanwhile psychopaths seem to proliferate. These books are well written. The romance g So, after liking the first 2 of these I read (the first I read was one farther along in the series) I've continued to follow our hero(es) through "life". And they have an eventful life. The detective is in love with our heroine. Our heroine however is a devout and actually believing and practicing Jew. There seems to be no way things can work out...even if they do love each other. Now Peter has to look at his life. Meanwhile psychopaths seem to proliferate. These books are well written. The romance growing between the protagonists does not take away from the story (of course if you like romance that wouldn't really be a concern). Their private life integrates and it's simply part of the story as a whole. The plot flows, the characters are complete and while I'm not usually into books where the detective's private life is a factor, these I like. I can recommend this one also. Enjoy.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Felix

    As a police procedural, this one was better than the first book in the series and more exciting (though rather violent and harrowing). One thing that bugs me is that sometimes Ms. Kellerman takes an odd shortcut with the plot (e.g. a mysterious criminal holds important clues; nobody knows much about him except his first name (say, Marmarisco); you'd think that tracking him would be hard - but then Chapter x just begins with something like "Decker was meeting Marmarisco. Marmarisco was going to t As a police procedural, this one was better than the first book in the series and more exciting (though rather violent and harrowing). One thing that bugs me is that sometimes Ms. Kellerman takes an odd shortcut with the plot (e.g. a mysterious criminal holds important clues; nobody knows much about him except his first name (say, Marmarisco); you'd think that tracking him would be hard - but then Chapter x just begins with something like "Decker was meeting Marmarisco. Marmarisco was going to tell him ..."). It feels as if a couple of chapters were edited out. The first time I came across this kind of shortcut in Ritual Bath I thought I had actually missed a chapter. The good news, though, is that it only happened once in this book, as opposed to about 3 times in the previous one. As for the relationship between Peter and Rina, it was interesting. A bit of fairy tale stuff but I'm okay with that - this is art, not life, so get used to it. Will be getting the next one :)

  3. 5 out of 5

    Brina

    Sacred and Profane is the second book of the Peter Decker and Rina Lazarus series and ends a few months after book 1 left off. Decker is coming to grips with his place as a Jew in an attempt to cement a relationship with Rina. The book opens while Peter is camping in the mountains with Rina's sons, and on the last day of their vacation, one of the boys discovers two dead bodies. As luck would have it, Peter is assigned to the case. The mystery components of this book read quickly, leaving me wan Sacred and Profane is the second book of the Peter Decker and Rina Lazarus series and ends a few months after book 1 left off. Decker is coming to grips with his place as a Jew in an attempt to cement a relationship with Rina. The book opens while Peter is camping in the mountains with Rina's sons, and on the last day of their vacation, one of the boys discovers two dead bodies. As luck would have it, Peter is assigned to the case. The mystery components of this book read quickly, leaving me wanting to know who was behind the ghastly murder. What kept me reading quickly, however, is to see how Peter and Rina's relationship progresses. In Hebrew we say two people are bashert when it is obvious that in the universe they are destined for each other. Kellerman fleshes out that Peter and Rina are bashert, but Peter's Judaism remains an obstacle between them. He questions whether or not he is willing to leave behind all vestiges of his secular life for Rina. Between intense conversations with Rabbi Shulman of the yeshiva and his beat partner, Peter comes to grips with his place in the relationship. As the book comes to an end, Peter and Rina are at a critical stage in their relationship (I will not say more). This juncture has left me excited for the next book in the series. As I mentioned in the review of The Ritual Bath, this is the "perfect mystery series" for me to read in between heavier reads, and I look forward to reading it in its entirety.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Gary

    You can’t fake your beliefs. Pascal’s challenge is nonsense because our beliefs must be real to us in order to be our beliefs. One either believes something because they have evidence derived from facts which give identities with coherence and consistency or one does not. I can’t fake my belief. Faith is ultimately pretending to know something you don’t know. The burden of proof is always on the one who makes an assertion. Peter Drecker (the protagonist) is open to believing in the absurd for re You can’t fake your beliefs. Pascal’s challenge is nonsense because our beliefs must be real to us in order to be our beliefs. One either believes something because they have evidence derived from facts which give identities with coherence and consistency or one does not. I can’t fake my belief. Faith is ultimately pretending to know something you don’t know. The burden of proof is always on the one who makes an assertion. Peter Drecker (the protagonist) is open to believing in the absurd for reasons beyond true predicates about the real world (they seem to be tied up with his ‘love’ for Rina). Using the premises in this story somebody could make the really stupid statement ‘I don’t have enough faith to be an atheist’. Never realizing that burden of proof lies with the one making the assertion. By definition, the atheist position is ‘I believe not in a God’ not ‘I believe in no God’. The second is an assertion. The first is a statement based on the data that is at hand is not sufficient to make the assertion. The detective story is only so so. The belief in mystical wisdom is irritating.

  5. 4 out of 5

    aPriL does feral sometimes

    Good beach read. Better than the first in the series. In any case, for most genre novels my ratings have more to do with entertainment value first, plot consistency second, literary value third. For religious people, the drama around sex and conversion and evil is probably resonating, even if completely mental (I find the religious arguments on why child abuse and torture is common and snuff films are permitted by any gods particularly compelling and ridiculous, especially the Rabbi's answers,; 1 Good beach read. Better than the first in the series. In any case, for most genre novels my ratings have more to do with entertainment value first, plot consistency second, literary value third. For religious people, the drama around sex and conversion and evil is probably resonating, even if completely mental (I find the religious arguments on why child abuse and torture is common and snuff films are permitted by any gods particularly compelling and ridiculous, especially the Rabbi's answers,; 1. we don't know, 2. we probably aren't smart enough to understand, 3. if we learned the reason why god allows evil to exist we would be driven insane. WHAT the fuck!?!?!?!?! Seriously? And finding the body of a baby covered with old and new cigarette burns, broken arms and ribs, and knifed to death by the mother is better for us and less crazy than learning why god let it happen? HA HA HA HA! For me, while I enjoyed the police drama, and it strongly reminded me of a Sylvester Stallone action movie, which means to me a overheated concoction of soap opera, realism and manipulated emotion, the religious soap opera subplot makes me either open-mouthed in disbelief (Come on! Either leave the relationship or lie to the stupid woman and fake it) or tired. With all of the real problems in the world, it is mystifying why the author is planning to spend time writing a multi-volume series around all of the hot air on such a circular, endless subject as religious disagreements. I AM curious how the author plans to drag this out and keep it amusing for ten years. Of course, I'm only on book two. I imagine the dubious duo of Rina and Peter must find some way to dumb down and bury the intellectual questions around religion and concentrate on pacifying rituals and faith in order to get on with it, probably, for 30 books of babies being tortured to death, fathers raping and pimping out their own daughters, boys being raped by Scout leaders and coaches, innocents getting ripped off and murdered while the two get on their knees and recite memorized ritual prayers for a chapter or two in each book and have righteous sanctioned sex making themselves feel better, even if the following pages reveal more police cases which make clear that yet another tortured victim is discovered in the following chapters despite all of the religious hope. Ya gotta admire the persistence of 10,000 years of continuing and varied religious fervor without a single second of actual conversation or conflict resolution with any god. However, I'm definitely drawn in by the realistic detective cases, and amused by the over-the-top soap opera elements. I always loved Dark Shadows, the paranormal soap opera that was on TV in the late 1960's, which I watched everyday as a young teen. Even though the only paranormal elements are the religious rituals performed by people and the religious arguments between Rina and Peter ( the author doesn't go so far as to have God rap on tables or invisibly float secret journals with cryptic solutions to Decker's cases next to his breakfast oatmeal), I guess the hysterical tone is what I find resonating, reminding me oddly of Dark Shadows, which I've always found extremely entertaining. This really isn't a satirical series. I'm taking it that way, for some reason I can't explain, and that is why I'm going to keep reading it, for now. Inadvertent silly has often charmed me. This series seems to teeter on that edge.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Genia Lukin

    It's a cute enough schlock series, I suppose. As brain candy reading goes, it's not horrible, nor brilliant. For me, the extraneous digressions into Judaism here, there and everywhere were very offputting; I felt that, as a literary coup, they were poorly done. And that is a pity, because I would have loved to see more orthodox authors and themes written for outside audiences, and the complex life of Jewish Orthodoxy, which very few people on the outside are actually familiar with, reflected in It's a cute enough schlock series, I suppose. As brain candy reading goes, it's not horrible, nor brilliant. For me, the extraneous digressions into Judaism here, there and everywhere were very offputting; I felt that, as a literary coup, they were poorly done. And that is a pity, because I would have loved to see more orthodox authors and themes written for outside audiences, and the complex life of Jewish Orthodoxy, which very few people on the outside are actually familiar with, reflected in a mainstream novel. Still, if you want to go mainstream, you must also cater to some mainstream technique, and that includes the capability to insert themes and observations about life in an understated way, not as sermons. I also find it hard to forgive, since Rina Lazarus is depicted more as Charedi than mild Modern Orthodox, the many times the lead characters hold hands, hug, kiss, sit in each other's laps, etc'. It's not that it doesn't happen, of course, but Rina doesn't even make noises about it being forbidden - which it is, as it violates negiah. Perhaps I am more bemused and bored - as well as occasionally downright annoyed - by these asides because I am an Orthodox Jew myself. Most of her explications, put in the mouth of Rav Schulmann, as well as simplifications, leave me very cold indeed. I don't know. I just know it detracted from the story in my eyes. On the opposite hand, so to speak, I must compliment her at least on some of the criminology research she's obviously done. I can't speak for many details, but the dental forensics, at least, had decent amounts of accuracy in it. So, a tepid 2.5 stars leaning towards 3. Not bad for an afternoon with a slightly fuzzy head, but nothing to write home about.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Betsy

    Definitely one of my favorite novels in a set of very ,very, good procedural mysteries with Peter Decker and Rinna Lazarus as main characters. Peter Decker is a hard boiled cop/detective with a heart of gold who is seriously involved with a much younger devoutly religious woman named Rinna. While taking what he hopes to be his step sons camping, the oldest boy and he discover the charred remains of two female victims of pornographic sex ring.The psychological consequences of this discovery and Definitely one of my favorite novels in a set of very ,very, good procedural mysteries with Peter Decker and Rinna Lazarus as main characters. Peter Decker is a hard boiled cop/detective with a heart of gold who is seriously involved with a much younger devoutly religious woman named Rinna. While taking what he hopes to be his step sons camping, the oldest boy and he discover the charred remains of two female victims of pornographic sex ring.The psychological consequences of this discovery and the proceeding case has Peter strongly questioning his religious faith and his relationship with Rinna, who thinks of Peter as basheert. The story that follows is a gritty but thought provoking tale of the existence of good in a world of evil. I received this novel as part of the Goodreads giveaway program in exchange for an honest review, which I have had no trouble writing. I recommend this book highly to those who wish to know more about the Jewish religious culture,and those who like procedural detective/cop type novels. The subject matter while brutal is handled without being overly graphic or sensation seeking. This might be the only drawback to some readers with hyper-awareness to these type of situations. Still all in all, this is a novel well worth your time and despite any possible issue you might have with a subject matter.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Bill Hall

    The continuing romance of LAPD Sergeant Peter Decker and the ultra orthodox Jewess Rina Lazarus. In this episode Peter struggles with the integrity of his newly discovered Jewish faith. Born to Jewish parent who gave him up for adoption, Decker was raised by Baptist adoptive parents. I began reading from the beginning of the series to find out how Decker converts from Christianity to Judaism. It seems that although his adoptive parents were devout Decker has no Sunday School training nor Christ The continuing romance of LAPD Sergeant Peter Decker and the ultra orthodox Jewess Rina Lazarus. In this episode Peter struggles with the integrity of his newly discovered Jewish faith. Born to Jewish parent who gave him up for adoption, Decker was raised by Baptist adoptive parents. I began reading from the beginning of the series to find out how Decker converts from Christianity to Judaism. It seems that although his adoptive parents were devout Decker has no Sunday School training nor Christian understanding. Amazingly, however, his Jewish birth father was an orthodox Jew that owned some valuable Jewish prayer books that escaped the holocaust. Of course, there are lots of secular christians just like there are lots of secular Jews. However, it's pretty hard to imagine a person raised by devout Baptists that shows little or no understanding/appreciation of the Christian faith. I secretly suspect that it is our author that has little understanding of the Christian faith. That disappointment aside, this volume has a better balance between the growing Decker/Lazarus relationship and the murder case. Future books will focus more on the case than the relationship.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Sorcha

    Read a Faye Kellerman a few years ago, and didnt like it, much preferring her husband's style, so have avoided reading this one for a while.[return][return]However, did enjoy it more than I thought I would![return][return]Synopsis: "While on a camping trip, Detective Peter Decker and his two young charges come across the charred remains of two teenage girls. Embroiled in a disturbing case, Decker's only unifying thread in a network of violence and corruption is the deaths of the two apparently v Read a Faye Kellerman a few years ago, and didnt like it, much preferring her husband's style, so have avoided reading this one for a while.[return][return]However, did enjoy it more than I thought I would![return][return]Synopsis: "While on a camping trip, Detective Peter Decker and his two young charges come across the charred remains of two teenage girls. Embroiled in a disturbing case, Decker's only unifying thread in a network of violence and corruption is the deaths of the two apparently very different young girls."[return][return]It's early in the series, so Decker is single, and is also struggling with his imminent conversion/acceptance into Judaism

  10. 5 out of 5

    Hoyt

    I really had trouble getting into this one, perhaps because I didn't read the first one in the series. (This book was orphaned at my house after a visit by a family member ;) All of the dialogue felt very forced and fake, and the religious elements of the plot felt very forced. I know the author is very Orthodox and is perhaps trying to expose readers to her religion, but you really need reference book or a dictionary to know what some of the characters are talking about in some scenes. I don't I really had trouble getting into this one, perhaps because I didn't read the first one in the series. (This book was orphaned at my house after a visit by a family member ;) All of the dialogue felt very forced and fake, and the religious elements of the plot felt very forced. I know the author is very Orthodox and is perhaps trying to expose readers to her religion, but you really need reference book or a dictionary to know what some of the characters are talking about in some scenes. I don't think I'll be checking out the rest of this series any time soon...

  11. 5 out of 5

    Sharyn

    I am on a rereading marathon. It is interesting to go back and see the differences time makes to books. I am enjoying the series all over again. I find the religious sections very interesting, the mysteries and daily life of the cops fascinating and the relationship between Peter and Rina wonderful. As a Jew who also married a convert (wanted my children to have no doubts) the books have a secondary interest for me.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Sheila

    Peter is on a getting to know you camping trip with Rinna's boys when 1 boy finds 2 skeletons in the woods. Peter is given the case to solve. Menwhile he and Rinna are working through some bumps in the road regarding his conversion to be Jewish.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Leslie Jem

    Although dated, still a great series. I have book 3 and will begin it shortly.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Karschtl

    Das Buch spielt bereits Ende der 80er. Merkt man so wirklich eigentlich nur daran, dass Decker kein Mobiltelefon hat. Die Problematik des Falls (Kinderpornografie, minderjährige Prostituierte usw.) ist heute sicher genauso aktuell wie damals. Und auch genauso schrecklich. Ebenso intensiv wie auf die polizeiliche Arbeit wird auch auf die Beziehung zwischen Peter und der jüdischen Witwe Rina eingegangen, und Peter Deckers Bemühungen, sich dem Judentum anzunähern und diese Religion als seine eigene Das Buch spielt bereits Ende der 80er. Merkt man so wirklich eigentlich nur daran, dass Decker kein Mobiltelefon hat. Die Problematik des Falls (Kinderpornografie, minderjährige Prostituierte usw.) ist heute sicher genauso aktuell wie damals. Und auch genauso schrecklich. Ebenso intensiv wie auf die polizeiliche Arbeit wird auch auf die Beziehung zwischen Peter und der jüdischen Witwe Rina eingegangen, und Peter Deckers Bemühungen, sich dem Judentum anzunähern und diese Religion als seine eigene anzunehmen. Das war mir wirklich zu viel des Guten, ist glaube ich nur für Leser interessieren die sich für den jüdischen Glauben sehr interessieren. Ich habe auch schon den 1. Teil dieser Reihe gelesen, und auch schon den 3. Teil. Und da ich weiß dass es noch viele weitere Peter Decker / Rina Lazarus - Bücher gibt, überrascht es mich nicht wenn es mit den beiden doch noch weitergeht. Auch wenn das Ende diesbezüglich hier ja noch offen gelassen wird. Werde die Reihe auch erstmal weiterlesen, in der Hoffnung dass das religiöse Geschwafel deutlich zurück geht. Kann mich nicht erinnern, dass das im 3. Teil so stark vorkam. Aber da hat Decker wohl auch keine Unterrichtsstunden beim Rabbi mehr genommen.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Ken Schloman

    The second novel of the excellent Peter Decker/ Rina Lazarus series -- which I am re-reading after a long number of years-- is a very worthy follow up to The Ritual Bath. While an excellent police procedural, the author makes the key characters human with their developing love relationship and the religious and family conflicts to be resolved, all set against the murder mystery background that takes Decker into a very seamy part of the Hollywood scene. Simply put, the police procedural part of t The second novel of the excellent Peter Decker/ Rina Lazarus series -- which I am re-reading after a long number of years-- is a very worthy follow up to The Ritual Bath. While an excellent police procedural, the author makes the key characters human with their developing love relationship and the religious and family conflicts to be resolved, all set against the murder mystery background that takes Decker into a very seamy part of the Hollywood scene. Simply put, the police procedural part of the novel could stand alone, but the author, by combining the human aspects of the characters, has continued to lay a strong foundation for the series. I highly recommend the series for mystery fans.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Tex

    It's interesting to read books written and set before 9/11 to see all the changes in what we now consider norms. Pay phones and pagers Walking right up to airport gates Research by looking through boxes of documents There are more Jewish words and customs than I am comfortable with, but that's just a lack of knowledge on my part. Good to step out of my Christian upbringing more often.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Sep

    Delighted to get book 2 in the Pete and Rina series. In the first two pages, the burned skeleton of two girls is discovered by Sammy, Rina's younger son. The investigation takes Peter into a terrible world involving the victimization of children. The ongoing struggle of the romance between Rina and Peter is challenging. Peter is bucking against a celibate life and frustrated with his struggles to study Judaism tries to immerse himself in work. Deeply religious, Rina is trying to regain her balanc Delighted to get book 2 in the Pete and Rina series. In the first two pages, the burned skeleton of two girls is discovered by Sammy, Rina's younger son. The investigation takes Peter into a terrible world involving the victimization of children. The ongoing struggle of the romance between Rina and Peter is challenging. Peter is bucking against a celibate life and frustrated with his struggles to study Judaism tries to immerse himself in work. Deeply religious, Rina is trying to regain her balance after her experiences in book 1 and watching her relationship with Peter develop.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Janet

    I've read a couple of Peter Decker books in the past and enjoyed them. (Reading out of order never bothers me.) This one, I wasn't crazy about. In fact this may be the last one I read of the series. And, although I enjoy reading about other cultures immensely and enjoyed the informational facts in this book, this dove a little too deeply into the Jewish aspect during the first half of the book. (And there were so many words that I wish the meaning had been at least alluded to.) I actually did enj I've read a couple of Peter Decker books in the past and enjoyed them. (Reading out of order never bothers me.) This one, I wasn't crazy about. In fact this may be the last one I read of the series. And, although I enjoy reading about other cultures immensely and enjoyed the informational facts in this book, this dove a little too deeply into the Jewish aspect during the first half of the book. (And there were so many words that I wish the meaning had been at least alluded to.) I actually did enjoy the good and bad explanations by the Rabbi. We are a society of free choice that's how God wants it. We all suffer although it is hard to understand how any good can come of child abuse. Recently it was said in church, we should should thank God for the bad as well as the good. My thought "What the hell?" But on reflection of my entire life I see the 'chain'. It often makes us better people, it leads us down the road to a better life if we react as we should. And sometimes it's just a pathway we must travel to the good things ahead of us. I have had some a lot of uniquely bad things occur to me during my life, I now see it was all a chain that led me to who I am today and happiness in my life today. I especially look at the things that I so desperately wanted and felt denied of (one time was even mad at God for not giving me what I wanted) Now I realize God was on my side the whole time. Oops, went off a little bit. Now back to the book… Most of all, Peter was way too mean to Rina, a woman he is desperately in love with. I don't know why, but for some reason I kept getting Cameron and Dustin mixed up towards the end. The plot was interesting and I enjoyed Decker's uniquely rough treatment when needed, for those he didn't love.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Tess Mertens-Johnson

    This is the first Faye Kellerman book I have read, and I enjoyed. The main character is Peter, a homicide cop who is converting to Judaism to marry Rina. While camping with her sons, he stumbles upon two burned corpses. The book follows the forensic investigation of the murders, and well as Peter's journey to find his true faith calling. I liked the twists and turns of the mystery, as well as the confliction Peter felt for the love of a woman who would only have him if he became an Orthodox Jew. He This is the first Faye Kellerman book I have read, and I enjoyed. The main character is Peter, a homicide cop who is converting to Judaism to marry Rina. While camping with her sons, he stumbles upon two burned corpses. The book follows the forensic investigation of the murders, and well as Peter's journey to find his true faith calling. I liked the twists and turns of the mystery, as well as the confliction Peter felt for the love of a woman who would only have him if he became an Orthodox Jew. He wanted her so badly that he would take on a lifestyle he was not ready... or wanted to have. The plot of the deaths followed a path into a part of one's soul that made you search for the good in human being, as Peter saw the worst through the investigation. I like the mystery, and the love story/conversion was just at the right percentage of the book. It never got too religious, but took more of a moral turn on giving up so much of one's self for another. I would recommend this book to all mystery lovers.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Laura Beth

    I am new to this series and came to it after reading the Alex Delaware series by Faye Kellerman's husband. I am enjoying the relationship between Rina and Peter and the crimes that Peter solves. This one also explores Peter's journey in search of God. Will Peter become a Jewish man and follow all the rules or will he turn his back on his heritage and Rina? As I write those sentences, it makes this book sound like a religious treatise or a book about Jews or a book about someone seeking God. This I am new to this series and came to it after reading the Alex Delaware series by Faye Kellerman's husband. I am enjoying the relationship between Rina and Peter and the crimes that Peter solves. This one also explores Peter's journey in search of God. Will Peter become a Jewish man and follow all the rules or will he turn his back on his heritage and Rina? As I write those sentences, it makes this book sound like a religious treatise or a book about Jews or a book about someone seeking God. This is a murder mystery. The murder is the main part of the book and its solving is the major plot. The romance between Peter Decker and Rina Lazarus is secondary but makes the book interesting especially for those of us who read primarily romance like me. Then add to it the main character's struggle within himself to find a balance in life between what his life was before he met Rina and what it will take to be with her. Does he really want to become a religious Jew? I like this book and this series so far.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Lenore

    This is the first Faye Kellerman book I've read, and I'm pleasantly surprised. The plot was compelling enough and the characters likable. But the thing that surprised me most is the deftness with which she, within the genre of detective/crime fiction, addressed issues of faith. Made more palatable to the reading public, no doubt, by the fact that the faith in question is orthodox Judaism, and so enough outside the majority Christian religion to be comfortable in our pluralistic proselitism-phobi This is the first Faye Kellerman book I've read, and I'm pleasantly surprised. The plot was compelling enough and the characters likable. But the thing that surprised me most is the deftness with which she, within the genre of detective/crime fiction, addressed issues of faith. Made more palatable to the reading public, no doubt, by the fact that the faith in question is orthodox Judaism, and so enough outside the majority Christian religion to be comfortable in our pluralistic proselitism-phobic society, it was also refreshing and enjoyable to read of the police detective's struggle to maintain connection to his religious quest while navigating the sordid underworld of L.A. porn and snuff-porn films.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Marcia

    This is the second book in the Peter Decker and Rina Lazarus series. In this one, there is less interaction between Peter and Rina. Peter is attempting to convert to Orthodox Judaism so that he can be with Rina, but has trouble reconciling religious belief with the dark world he sees everyday at work. There's a lot of fighting between Peter and Rina, and Peter is really kind of a jerk. Still, their relationship is very real, and if I cringed when they were arguing, it was because I truly felt li This is the second book in the Peter Decker and Rina Lazarus series. In this one, there is less interaction between Peter and Rina. Peter is attempting to convert to Orthodox Judaism so that he can be with Rina, but has trouble reconciling religious belief with the dark world he sees everyday at work. There's a lot of fighting between Peter and Rina, and Peter is really kind of a jerk. Still, their relationship is very real, and if I cringed when they were arguing, it was because I truly felt like I knew them. The mystery is very dark and graphic, and I was extremely disturbed by it. Not for those with a weak stomach. I didn't like this book quite as much as the first, The Ritual Bath, but it was still a pretty good read and I look forward to the rest.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Lewis Weinstein

    One of the early Decker/Lazarus novels, before they are married. The title is apt, as Decker alternates between two universes. On the one hand, he is studying the Jewish religion, a pre-condition of his hoped for marriage to Rina. On the other hand, he has descended into the depths of violent pornography and disgusting criminals. A solid detective story and significant character development indicative of what is to come in this excellent series. Decker's ambivalence toward Judaism, and indeed to One of the early Decker/Lazarus novels, before they are married. The title is apt, as Decker alternates between two universes. On the one hand, he is studying the Jewish religion, a pre-condition of his hoped for marriage to Rina. On the other hand, he has descended into the depths of violent pornography and disgusting criminals. A solid detective story and significant character development indicative of what is to come in this excellent series. Decker's ambivalence toward Judaism, and indeed toward any religion, is a powerful sub-plot that adds Kellerman's "more than just a detective story" trademark.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Austin

    Just like the first book, this one was good but not as good as the first one. I'm not big on the Jewish thin but I really the mystery part of the book. I feel like the whole Jewish component gets in the way of the actual case.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Cheryl

    I love Peter Decker novels.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Jennifer Shanahan

    Loved this one! Can't wait for #3.

  27. 5 out of 5

    StefanieFreigericht

    Sometimes, not everything may be solved (Decker Lazarus 2) It is 1977(cf. page 132), christmas, and four months have passed since the end of the first book, “The Ritual Bath“. LAPD detective Pete Decker is still seeing his love-interest, orthodox Jew Rina Lazarus, and so he goes camping with the young widow’s two sons, Sammy and Jake. When 8 year-old Sammy strolls off on his own, he stumbles upon two burnt corpses – and thus, Decker into his next case. Forensic odontology will help to identify o Sometimes, not everything may be solved (Decker Lazarus 2) It is 1977(cf. page 132), christmas, and four months have passed since the end of the first book, “The Ritual Bath“. LAPD detective Pete Decker is still seeing his love-interest, orthodox Jew Rina Lazarus, and so he goes camping with the young widow’s two sons, Sammy and Jake. When 8 ½ year-old Sammy strolls off on his own, he stumbles upon two burnt corpses – and thus, Decker into his next case. Forensic odontology will help to identify one of the young women as a teenager who went missing some three months ago, but what about the other body? What linked the two and what has happened to them? This is the second book in Faye Kellerman’s series around Decker and Lazarus and although the books might in general be read separately and on their own, this one starts off with an information that I consider a spoiler on Pete, as the first book would only reveal it at a later stage. As in “The Ritual Bath“, Pete will have his colleagues Marge Dunn and Mike Hollander by his side and have to delve deep into the less affluent areas of his hometown Los Angeles. The series is a mystery story not a thriller, and you will accompany the detectives along rather than be capable to deduce the murderer from the information yourself. Same as Pete, of course, you may use your gut feeling… Kellerman does not write overly ‘graphic‘, but the cops will have to look at some explicit photos, hit upon some hints of snuff porn, see weapons put to usage, and discuss matters in between them in a language probably not suitable for their respective moms – for the lovers of the likes of Cody McFadyen, that’s kindergarten stuff, but we do not talk Agatha Christie here. Again, the author links the crime story with the personal development between Pete and Rina, who fell in love during the first story, and the problems this causes concerning the fact Rina is living as an orthodox jew: neither would she simply start off an relationship, nor would she consider marriage to a husband not sharing her religious believes. Peter picks off where the first book ended, so he is still studying the Chumash, the Jewish bible, learning Hebrew and Yiddish; but more than once, this will bring him to his limits like when overly attentive friends try to ensure proper behaviour, when families will interfere, or when religious demands meet human desires. That is, as with the predecessor, highly insightful; so you may read your way through the traditional shabbos and really get to learn and understand the rituals. The book’s title derives from the end of the prayer to mark the conclusion of Sabbath “Baruch atah Adonai hamadvil beyn kodesh lechol = Blessed art thou, Oh Lord, who hast made a distinction between sacred and profane“ p 130 In this book, the rituals, the high spiritual and personal demands, and the slow progress in the investigation will soon overexhaust the detective – and I admit that some of his frustration rubs off, especially when the case‘s end will somehow fade away in contrast to his love matters. I still like the non-kitsh love affair and how religious matters are being portrayed – solid 4 stars out of 5.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Phyllis

    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 grueling 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. Throw 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 grueling 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. My review: This is the second book in the Peter Decker/ Rina Lazarus series. I liked the first book very much so I decided to go on with the second book. I am hoping to continue with the rest of the series unless it becomes redundant. After all there are 24 books in the series. I really enjoyed the book. A good mystery, lots of action, which is what I like. It gets a bit gory at times. My reaction to those parts were ewww! A complex relationship setup for the main character. The information about othodox Judaism, delivered through sessions with the rabbi were fascinating. Even though I am of the same religion, I learned more about the culture. There are 2plots going on and I found it intriguing how the author intertwined them together.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Barbara

    I enjoyed the book, particularly reading about Pete's struggle with faith in general and Judaism in particular. The ending of the case seemed a bit off to me but I don't understand why. I was curious about why the author didn't use the military alphabet (alpha-bravo-charlie, etc.). Because this book briefly brought up Pete's military experience, that seemed off. I've never served, but I do know that most former military personal would use it over the phone to ensure clarity. I'm moving on to the I enjoyed the book, particularly reading about Pete's struggle with faith in general and Judaism in particular. The ending of the case seemed a bit off to me but I don't understand why. I was curious about why the author didn't use the military alphabet (alpha-bravo-charlie, etc.). Because this book briefly brought up Pete's military experience, that seemed off. I've never served, but I do know that most former military personal would use it over the phone to ensure clarity. I'm moving on to the third in the series and I do hope that it's a great detective story with a continuing struggle about faith, but perhaps not quite so much graphic descriptions off the murders. (I'm not squeamish at all, but some of it seemed gratuitous.) Still a 4 star as I wanted to keep reading and thought most of the book was well-developed.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Diane Lybbert

    Can you say 'gritty detective novel'? I had to keep reminding myself this was written by a woman! Pete Decker is a worn-out detective in LAPD. When he takes his girlfriend's boys out camping in the mountains, and one of them stumbles across 2 badly burned skeletons, Decker is taken from his duties in Juvenile Crime and tasked to head the Homicide case. His girlfriend Rina is Orthodox Jewish, and Decker is non-practicing Baptist. He loves her enough to convert, but struggles with the lessons, the Can you say 'gritty detective novel'? I had to keep reminding myself this was written by a woman! Pete Decker is a worn-out detective in LAPD. When he takes his girlfriend's boys out camping in the mountains, and one of them stumbles across 2 badly burned skeletons, Decker is taken from his duties in Juvenile Crime and tasked to head the Homicide case. His girlfriend Rina is Orthodox Jewish, and Decker is non-practicing Baptist. He loves her enough to convert, but struggles with the lessons, the Hebrew, and the tight restrictions. In the meantime he sees the absolute worst part of people, and the horrific things they do to each other. The murder case leads to prostitution, abduction, torture, and snuff films. The novel was very well-written, fast-paced, and exciting. The main characters are well developed, and realistic. Great book! Hard to put down.

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