Mitch Greenberg adopts a straightforward, down-to-earth narrative tone for Faye Kellerman's third outing in the Peter Decker/Rina Lazarus mystery series. While out for a late night walk and worrying whether or not Orthodox Jewish widow Rina Lazarus will marry him, Decker comes upon a 2-year-old, out alone, covered in blood and bee stings. Greenberg uses subtle vocal changes to distinguish minor characters from one another and is especially effective with women's and toddler's voices. His New York City and Yiddish accents are spot-on, and, as the mystery of the child's identity unfolds, Greenberg keeps the humanity real and the tension high.
But his trail is leading him to a killing ground where four bodies lie still and lifeless. And by the time Rina returns, Peter Decker is already held fast in a sticky mass of hatred, passion, and murder - in a world where intense sweetness is accompanied by a deadly sting.
©1990 Faye Kellerman; (P)2008 HarperCollins Publishers
The story is acturally a good one...I don't know if reader is given an exact script...this has so many He said She said and He asked She asked that it becomes so annoying you want to scream......get rid of that format and you have a keeper.......
Detective Pete Decker finds a little girl on patrol one night, and in his quest to find out who she is and who she belongs to, uncovers a grisly quadruple murder scene.
This is a tough review to write. The overall mystery involving the little girl and the murders was good, and the only real reason I kept listening. But, and this is a big one for me, Pete Decker is a pig. He's verbally abusive to his fiancee on several occasions, and treats her like she's a little girl. "You only talk to other men if I'm with you" "You can't handle my car, take the Jeep instead, it's easier to drive" and to another detective "Don't talk like that in front of my woman. She's too good to hear that language". It was ridiculous and really hard to read. Well, hear. There were a lot of characters portrayed as really backwoods, and the n-word was sprinkled liberally throughout the story, making me cringe every time I heard it. I understand that people who think and talk like that exist, but not in my world. It's not something I hear a lot.
The way women are treated in general in this book is bothersome. Even Decker's partner, Detective Marge Dunn, is referred to as "little lady" constantly, and told to wait in the car while Decker does the dirty work, or pointedly ignored while "the men are talking". There are several references to "those women's libbers" as well. I'm trying really hard to put this in the context of when it was written, but it was published in 1990. And while I have no doubt this attitude was still present at the time, I don't recall it being quite as blatant as it is here.
(Side thought - The time the book was set was a little confusing to me. It was published in 1990 - is it set there, as well? It seemed to me that it was; there were beepers and pay phones, but also rotary phones at the station. If that's the case, given the fact that the Pete/Rina series is still being published, are all the books set in the early 90s? Or are they present day? Do Pete and Rina age in real time, or do they stay about where they are in this book while the world around them changes? I guess I won't know unless I keep reading, but Pete was born in 1950, so he'd be in his early 60s in 2013. That seems well past the standard 20 or 25 years most cops put in. But if Kellerman keeps him in his 40s, that would change a lot of the dynamic, since Pete's experiences in Vietnam had a huge impact in making him who he is, as they did everyone involved. And his caveman attitude would have to undergo some major changes in order for him to fit in in 2013.)
Pete's one saving grace to me is that by the end of the book, he seemed to realize that he has some anger issues and is a pig at times, and he seemed to want to make a genuine effort to change. That's the one reason I'll read at least one more in this series. I'll at least give him a chance to redeem himself.
The narration of this book was somewhat off-putting. Enough that I'll probably just read any more in this series, not listen to them, at least not if they're narrated by Mitch Greenberg. His reading of the main characters was fine, but all of the male side characters sounded like Rodney Dangerfield. Every one of them. Some times a straight Rodney, sometimes a hillbilly Rodney, sometimes a southern Rodney, but all of them sounded like Rodney. And there were several bizarre musical breaks in the audio. I have no idea what was happening with those. They weren't between chapters or scenes, or parts, and they weren't consistent. Suddenly I'd just be listening to 30-45 seconds of weird music, then back to the story.
Overall, I listened to this as fast as I could because I wanted to get through it and find out the answer to the murder mystery, but not because I was enjoying my listening experience. I'd recommend it only to people who really want to read this series, though.
Member Since 2006!!
This is going to sound sexist: I am surprised these books are written by a woman.
I’m continuing to enjoy the development of Peter and Rina’s relationship in this series, but the language in the cop-dramas is getting a little cringe-worthy! I admit I swear a lot, but not like this. This is really crass!
It’s the kind of foul language “good ol’ boys” might use.. lot’s of N-word and W-word being tossed about like it’s normal vernacular...
Still, I’m not dissuaded - moving on to Book 4 right away!
libra scorpio rising
I liked this installment in the series, even though some of the writing, when spoken aloud, was awkward, e.g., "he said" repeated for an entire scene. I'm surprised an editor didn't catch it. Also, I would have liked to have heard more Rina in the book. Otherwise it was a fun, entertaining book. The narrator was terrific.
Decker has only one hard-to-believe adult temper tantrum in Milk and Honey. This time we actually get an explanation of where his toddler behavior comes from. Furthermore, Rina has a much more appropriate response, rather than her erstwhile passive love-struck attitude. We also observe his receipt of some down-and-dirty anger management.
Finally, we get to know Marge better through her adoption of her own case and we meet a fascinating character from Decker's past. The intertwined plots are kept identifiable as are the numerous criminals and victims. Mitch Greenberg's narration is partially responsible for the clear separation of distinct personalities. There are a couple of female voices that are a bit jarring, but I am glad that I stuck with the first two books to get to this one.
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.
Probably not. Our reading hours are too short; so why go for an average book? I do remember reading this when it was newly released in 1990 and I liked it much better then than I do today. Some of what turned me off was the use of the n-word, and some views that seem close-minded to me today.
I will say that I didn't guess the culprit right up front. The ending had an element of surprise to me and that is always a good thing when reading a mystery.
This was a good murder mystery, kept me guessing to the end. There was a lot of Jewish Orthodoxy references and bad language, like liberal use of the n-word. This was an old book, 1990, so it might have been more prevalent at that time, plus the thinking of the families the story centered around.
The story centered around the finding of a young child late at night with blood on her clothes. First they had to figure out where she came from and then who had done what they found at her home.
There were also a couple side stories around the main mystery. One was the relationship between Decker and an old army buddy. There were some disturbing scenes in that story line. Decker also seems to have some anger issues that he finally acknowledges and starts seeking help for.
I thought the narrator was fine. He wasn't too bad on the female voices, although his range was a little limited on the other male characters.
I couldn't tell if it was the writing or the naration. Likely a little of the writing and a whole lot of the narration. Good narration can help divert one's attention from poor writing but in this case the voice inflection during character dialog was completely unbelievable. It was a chore to complete the read.
Tell us about yourself ! I am a register nurse of many years, taught nursing and high school and was inservice Director of hospital.
Good book -you will not be disappointed
I didn't look closely and purchased this book because I thought it was new one in the series, but it is actually very old. I think the reader is terrible - I don't know if I will even finish listening. The combination of a slow moving plot and a monotonous reader make the whole book seem tedious. I have enjoyed the later books in this series, but this one is not worth the money.
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