This early Peter Decker/Rina Lazarus novels finds the couple newly married and honeymooning in Brooklyn during the High Holidays. When a teenage boy from an Orthodox family goes missing, Decker finds himself on the job again - with the trail of the boy and the young man he ran off with leading him back home to Los Angeles. Mitch Greenberg's performance is a wonderful match with the book - he delivers accurate Yiddish and Hebrew pronunciations and great local accents. Nice changes in tempo and pace when the action heats up and excellent voice modulation keep the listener plugged in to the story. For fans of the series, even if they've read the book already, this audiobook is a treat.
The runaway, Noam, is not traveling alone. A killer has taken him under his wing to introduce Noam to a savage world of blood and terror. And now Decker must find them both somewhere in America before a psychopath ends the life of a confused and frightened youngster whose only sin was to want something more.
©1991 Faye Kellerman; (P)2008 HarperCollins Publishers
When Faye Kellerman is good, she's very very good. When she's bad, she's horrid. Well, "Day of Atonement" is the fourth Rina/Pete Decker book in the series, and isn't either very very good, nor is it horrid, exactly. it's somewhere in the middle. The problem is that we see a very different kind of Rina and Pete than we see in either the early books or certainly the more recent ones. Some of it isn't pleasant.
Many different times in this book, I -- who thought I personally adored Peter Decker, thought Rina was the luckiest girl in the world -- found myself ready to murder Peter if he kept it up. Wow - what a dictator! Unlike in earlier or later books, Peter here is shouting orders, right and left, expects them to be obeyed. He's short-tempered, unhappy at being where he is -- which is in Brooklyn, being introduced to Rina's former inlaws, the parents/family of her first (and now deceased) husband. Should she have forced Peter into that trip -- which must indeed have been difficult? Maybe not -- or certainly not at a high-stress time like the High Holidays, and not for so long a visit. Perhaps he should have said no to that -- but whatever, it all brings out the worst in Peter. At one point, he even handcuffs Rina to the steering wheel of the car, so she can't get out to meddle when he goes off to investigate something. Should she get out to meddle? No, she shouldn't. He was right to try to keep her away -- but wrong for taking her along on a work errand in the first place.
It gets a little tiresome, actually, the back- and-forth: Rina would be trying to find a way to nose in on his job, Pete trying to find ways to keep her out -- but he always relents a little, and that's when the trouble starts.
The best thing about the first three books in this series is the relatively accurate picture they offer of an orthodox Jewish lifestyle. I think a lot of readers -- Jewish and otherwise -- enjoy that glimpse into a world they otherwise won't see for themselves, and it was good that this series presented an insiders story. But this book has a different story line that makes that difficult -- we've got a lost teenager, one who seemed "weird" even before he got lost, and then went way, way, way off the beaten path when he did, probably not very realistically. And of course the question of misplaced parenthood, which seemed a little forced too.
So? Not her best book, but worth reading, anyway, in the context of the whole story, which started in 1986 and continues to today. Quite a long run -- which is amazing, all by itself.
Audio books are just my cup of tea!
Love Mitch Greenburg’s narration! Definitely start this series from the beginning very little time elapses between books. I am SOOOO excited that Audible has been filling the holes in this series! Keep up the great work!
I really enjoy listening to Mitch Greenberg reading this series. I wish he'd done all of them. To me, he's become Peter Decker. Not only that, but his character voices, accents, and Hebrew pronunciation really put these books over the top. Please, please, please, let him complete the series!! I've tried to listen to some of the others and they just aren't "right" after hearing Mitch's treatment of them.
Faye Kellerman does a super job of fleshing out her characters. Both the job "family" as well as the home family. They all travel seamlessly between books and storylines.
The Jewish community and history easily fits in as part of the storylines. Each book builds upon the last but can stand alone. The problem with a standalone concept is the need to see what happens next. They are all that good!
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I enjoyed Book 4 and I am moving on to Book 5 right away. The Peter and Rina storyline is compelling enough to keep me going, and I found this cop-plot was more interesting than the previous ones.
Part of the reason why I liked this installment more than the others is because of the language - the previous books were not just rude, that wouldn’t faze me at all, but crude. Book 4 was much tamer on that front so maybe the worst is over. (As far as my memory goes, there was a total lack of toilet-talk in Book 16)
The sporadic musical interludes are a little off putting, I think they must be left over from the original production and mark where one CD (or cassette) ended and the other began. Too bad it could not be edited out.
libra scorpio rising
This book was filled with drama--crime and family drama. The narrator was outstanding. The end was satisfying, too. Thank you!
Reading allows me to travel through time; to visit the world's unique and stunning places. To become somebody I am not... It is glorious.
I liked this one best of the first four. I feel as though this book made Rina and Peter both a little more human and real. Perhaps taking Peter to Brooklyn and far out of his comfort zone was the best thing Ms. Kellerman could have done.
Mitch Greenburg is a really good narrator though I find him better at 1.5 speed than at the regular speed. That is okay with me as that speed is my favorite setting anyway.
If you like character driven mysteries give the Decker/Lazarus series a try.
This may get better but after 10 minutes, I could not take anymore. The narration is flat and there is a background hum in the recording that is very noticeable between chapters. It is probably a personal preference but it is important that the narrator be engaging for me to invest 10+ hours of listening time. I have downloaded 1 to 2 books a month for several years so I am not new to Audible but I can't recommend this recording.
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