Throughout his years with the LAPD, Peter Decker has handled a number of tough cases and strange killers. But few of his previous assignments compare to his latest case. When Hobart Penny is found dead in his apartment, the cops think that his pet cat - an adult female tiger - attacked the reclusive elderly billionaire. But it soon becomes clear that the beast that killed the eccentric inventor is all too human.
Digging into the victim's life, Decker and his colleagues discover that Penny was an exceptionally peculiar man with exotic tastes, including kinky sex with call girls. Following a trail of clues that leads from a wildlife sanctuary in the San Bernardino Mountains to the wild nightlife of Las Vegas, the LAPD detectives are left juggling too many suspects and too few answers. To break open the case, Decker wrestles with a difficult choice: turning to Chris Donatti, the dangerous man who also happens to be the father of Decker's foster son, Gabriel Whitman.
As their work and intimate worlds collide, Decker and his wife, Rina, find themselves facing tough questions. And when all these shocking truths comes out, exactly how well will Decker and Rina cope, and survive?
©2013 Plot Line, Inc. (P)2013 HarperCollinsPublishers
This installment just seemed to be lacking something. Suspense maybe. A lot of wild animal info, that was kinda boring. Young love problems with parents were discussed, through Gabe. Chris Donati had a cameo to get more readers, but had little to do with this novel. There just wasn't any OMG moments to the book, or bite your nails suspense. The case was investigated, and easily solved through interviews and paper trails.
It seemed to be a wrap up of characters, where a new beginning could take place, but if this is a taste if things to come, I don't think I'll be interested. I didn't care for the narrator at all, so that could have helped to kill the book too.
Good writing has ... a balance and a rhythm. You can feel that much better when it's read aloud. --Laura Hillenbrand, author of Unbroken
In the beginning Faye Kellerman created a unique detective series, heavily character-based and set in the community of ultraorthodox Judaism. Rina Lazarus was so sympathetic that I embraced her character completely, even though I found it hard to accept that a highly intelligent modern American woman would voluntarily choose such a lifestyle.
The first books in the series were great, focused on young widow Rina and LAPD Detective Peter Decker, who marries Rina and becomes a loving stepfather to her two sons. Kellerman has expanded the character base throughout the series, introducing new faces that often stuck around. The most recent two books, "Gun Games" and "The Beast," have been major disappointments, not least because the emphasis on the Decker family has pretty much dissolved. Developments in "Beast" seem to indicate that the series may move in a new direction, which if it is to continue, I think it has to do.
The "mystery"--and I use the term loosely--in "Beast" is ridiculous. If you swallow the premise that a person could keep a Bengal tiger inside a suburban LA apartment complex for 2 years and the neighbors wouldn't even notice--well, I have a bridge you might like to buy. It does allow for some nice gruesome scenes, however, and the story moves along breezily, a (very) lightweight read. The big question is, What Will Faye Kellerman Do Next?
I would be happy to see Gabe Whitman and Chris Donati carry the leads in a book of their own. And I really want to know what's happened in the life of Jacob Lazarus Decker (Rina's younger son, now 30, the only character who seemed to have serious problems with the orthodox lifestyle of his parents). There's a throwaway line in "Beast" about the possibility of Gabe and Jake traveling to India together; therein lies an interesting possibility.
And as long as things are changing, I think it's time for a new narrator, and I'd really like to ditch the Jasmine character, at least until she grows up. The two problems may be related. Mitchell Greenberg makes sultry teenager Jasmine sound like a petulant 5-year-old--and we all know how much fun either of those entities is to listen to.
There's always been a certain charm to Faye Kellerman's books: family relationships, interesting mysteries, good characters. She really misses on this book. It feels as if she's run out of stories so goes for the gross to keep her readers. Result? A rather disgusting disaster. Save your credits!
Absolutely. Have always enjoyed Faye Kellerman's book.
Not great, but fine.
It's not the characters that bother me, but the dialogue and storyline that didn't engross me like previous books in the series.
Storyline was a bit tired.
I have read several of Kellerman's books, this one was not one of the best. I did not care for the narrator. The person who narrates makes or breaks a book. The book starts way too slow and continues until the second half.
Reading has always been my guilty pleasure. I would take stacks of books from the library. Now I listen to Audible.
This was definitely a change from the usual themes of the series but I liked it.
Mitchell Greenberg makes these characters work. His voice is like being home with family. I haven't been able to listen to other narrators trying to be Decker/Lazarus et al. They ruin the book. Having said that, in order to follow the series, I find my self downloading Murder 101, knowing that I am going to have to block out the sound of a narrator who just doesn't work for me.
It's been a long time between reading Faye Kellerman's books and I have to say I thoroughly enjoyed this reading! Couldn't put it down, but was sorry when it ended.
People who enjoy simple crime stories, "Law & Order" style.
I could have done without the "Young Adult" love story that is threaded into the main storyline.
Hard to say. Mr. Greenberg did an OK job for the material given, but his reading of the "young adult" love thread was way too syrupy and nerdy for me.
I thought the story had great promise and set up for a great back story, but just kind of fell apart and turned into an Encyclopedia Brown-like mystery.
If you're already into this series of characters, then this may make a great addition to your collection. If you enjoy mental gymnastics, you should look elsewhere.
The police storyline was boring, the young-love storyline was ridiculous, and the performance was the worst I've encountered yet. I have been a fan of this series for years but I wish I hadn't wasted my money.
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