The cruel and bizarre slaying of a beautiful teen leads Detective Decker into the dark heart of an exotic subculture: the seamy, sometimes violent world of Southern California's rootless, affluent youth. But even the confession of a disturbed kid with cold "killer eyes" cannot soothe Decker's inner torment. For he knows in his gut this crime goes much deeper and higher than anyone expects - and that true justice, brutal and complete, has yet to be done.
Solve another case with Peter Decker and Rina Lazarus.
©1995 Faye Kellerman (P)2012 HarperCollinsPublishers
Good writing has ... a balance and a rhythm. You can feel that much better when it's read aloud. --Laura Hillenbrand, author of Unbroken
If you enjoy this series mostly because of the wonderful Rina Lazarus Decker and her children and/or because of the fascinating peeks into the world of ultraorthodox (Torah) Judaism, skip this one. Rina is barely in this book, her sons are totally absent, and daughter Hannah is still a toddler. What limited religious discussion there is centers on Roman Catholic Guilt.
In "Justice," family life and religion take a (very) back seat to, in plain words, explicit and perverse but nonetheless erotic sex, and to the introduction of two new characters who (fortunately, in my opinion) will show up in several later entries in this series.
Large segments of the book are narrated in the first person by 16-year-old Theresa McLaughlin, a precociously intelligent and immensely beautiful senior at a Valley high school whose family life is barren and dysfunctional. She recounts her relationship and sexual awakening with Christopher Whitman, an equally beautiful senior at the same high school, but older and mysteriously independent. He is also a musical prodigy (classical cello) and the adopted son of a Mafioso who has brought him up to be a stone-cold killer. His childhood makes Terry's family miseries look like a day at the beach.
I've liked most of the Decker/Lazarus books, and find "Justice" to be one of the most engrossing and interesting. Murder doesn't happen until 2/3 of the way in, but when it does, it's a gripping and baffling case that takes a lot of unexpected twists. There is no doubt that Terry and, most especially, Chris are compelling characters; not surprising that Faye Kellerman will bring them back in later books. Yay!
Now the bad news. Mitch Greenberg, who narrates most of the books in this series, is a straightforward "cop procedural" narrator who does a good job with Detective Peter Decker and has accomplished a more than acceptable characterization of Rina. He also does a good job as Chris. But he is *totally* out of his element when he takes on the first-person narrations by Theresa. She whines like an immature Valley Girl, when in fact the character is mature beyond her years and the musically gifted Chris first notices her because of her resonant and lovely speaking voice. Oops. With at least a third of the book (and all the erotic scenes) narrated this way, it is a shame the publisher could not have sprung for a really good female reader for the role of Terry.
This is the first book I've read of Faye Kellerman's and has got me hooked on the characters of Chris and Terry. These two are drawn to each other from the start of the book, and just grows into a turmoil of emotions from both sides. She's good to the core, and he's rotten to the core (almost), but you can't help not liking him. Their story is woven around a murder that Chris is right in the middle of, thus bringing in Peter Decker, to investigate. Not a dull moment to this story, and the ending blows your mind. This one is well worth your time, if you like psychological thrillers.
I read this book out of order, and found the switching back and forth between the new character, Teri, and Decker a bit confusing at first. Greenberg IS Peter Decker, yet he manages to convey Teri so clearly I can see her. On the face of things it seems like an unpremeditated murder, but there are many aspects of this case that are not what they seem. I read and listen to a lot of mysteries, and I have to say, I did not see the end coming.
I have always loved to read. As a child my mom actually grounded me from books if I was in trouble. Noone can do that now. Yay!
This book is much different than the rest of the series. For example huge chunks of it are narrated in the first person. This is something Ms Kellerman has not done in the series so far.
If you want less exploration of the home life of Peter and Rina and more fast paced story telling of the mystery you will like this book better than the rest. But, if you have grown to love the Decker/Lazarus family and want to continue exploring that part of the story this book might disappoint.
I liked the book, but it felt so completely different than any of the previous books.
Yes. It has a very interesting story and is much more fast-paced than her books usually are. It is more about other characters and less about the Deckers' personal lives.
It is face paced and has interesting characters outside the Decker family.
I don't find that Faye Kellerman always delivers. Sometimes there is more about her religion and family that gets tedious in some of the books instead of there being a true plot. However, I liked this one and didn't want it to stop.
I cannot speak to the quality of the story itself because I wasn't able to listen long enough to evaluate it. The part I did hear intrigued me and I'd have liked to know how it developed but the narration destroyed the feeling of the story to the point that I had to quit. Listening to him was like listening to an elderly kindergarten teacher read to a group of 5 year olds...very Disneyesque intonations like Snow White talking to the Dwarfs. And, I remembered that I had had the same feeling from a previous book read by the same narrator and had vowed not to buy any more books that used him. Obviously, I didn't check to see who was reading this one.
I have enjoyed the Decker/Lazarus series, and this book was well written. But it was smuttier than the others I'd listened too. The language seemed unnecessarily cruder and the situation darker and more twisted. I am not a fan of this book - but I AM a fan of the series....
The reader was great - as usual...
Dog Agility Nut
Yes, highly recommended. I love all the Peter Decker series. And Mitchell Greenberg does a great job of narrating. I like his voice. It fits the character of Peter.
Audio books are just my cup of tea!
In this book there is an additional character in first person. It caught me off guard at first but, I really enjoyed this book. Have to say Marge took a vacation and did not come back in this book. I even went on the web to see if anyone had any news about the character. Don’t worry she is back in the next book. Love this series and Mitch is a great narrator!
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