Milk and Honey

Narrated by: Mitch Greenberg
Series: Decker / Lazarus, Book 3
Length: 12 hrs and 37 mins
4.1 out of 5 stars (441 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

In the silent pre-dawn city hours - alone with his thoughts about Rina Lazarus, the woman he loves, 3,000 miles away in New York - L.A.P.D. detective Peter Decker finds a small child, abandoned and covered in blood that is not his. It is a sobering discovery, and a perplexing one, for nobody in the development where she was found steps forward to claim the little girl. Obsessed more deeply by this case than he imagined possible, Decker is determined to follow the scant clues to an answer.

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

What listeners say about Milk and Honey

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Milk and Honey - Faye Kellerman

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.

4 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars

Milk and Honey

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.......

6 people found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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I don't recommend this book

It is full of unnecessary racist and sexist comments. That spoiled the book for me.

1 person found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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Great Book Annoying Music

The music was a major annoyance for me! The reader and story was great.

1 person found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Music?

I like the series... dislike the use of music. The music is loud and overlaps the start of some chapter...

1 person found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Better Decker and triple plots

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.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Please stop the music between chapters!

I love this series and the relationship between Decker and Lazarus and I am learning a lot about this side of the Jewish religion. But when listening to the audio book, why is it necessary to have music between chapters? i read before bed and each time it comes on, it jars me to full conscientiousness. Not relaxing!

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    3 out of 5 stars
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Too much Hard to Take

There were parts of this book that I really did not like. The violence was unacceptable. The narration was superb.

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Not as good as the first 2...

Something about this story just did not feel as engaging as the first 2. For the first time, I took issue with Peter as a character--though the book does acknowledge that his actions are problematic, and I don't expect my protagonists to be above reproach. Just, Peter's behavior in this book was close to a type of behavior that sets off particular alarm bells, and so it was harder to simply enjoy the mystery. Rina is also now basically just the love interest, and I miss her involvement in working cases.

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Now I Remember Why I Don't Care for these Books

The premise of the book is interesting. The characters are somewhat likable. But, I didn't care for it. In LA, the Detective Peter Decker is driving at night and finds a toddler swinging on a swing set. Her pajamas are covered in blood and since she seems to be healthy (even laughing), it's clearly not hers. And it's a lot of blood--someone is hurt bad. Or dead. The case take Decker and his partner Marge Dunn to a family of beekeepers and a house loaded with putrefying corpses. Shotguns make a terrible mess and this crime scene is no exception. At the same time, an army buddy from Vietnam is accused of violent rape and asks for Decker's help. Decker tries to get to the bottom of this as well as solve the beekeeper murders. The plot is full of twists and turns and the killer(s) are/is only revealed in the last 15 minutes of the book. Kinda took me by surprise and I can usually figure out the killers in most novels fairly quickly. OK. So why do I not care for the book? It's a personal thing, really. I'm really turned off by the excessive use of the F-word. And believe me, that word (along with other curse words) is used liberally. But, even that was not the straw that broke the camel's back. Faye Kellerman claims to be an orthodox Jew, yet the characters in her books use God's name in a most vulgar way throughout her novels. This is not something that most orthodox Jews would do. The characters also use "Christ" & "Jesus" in the same way. I have known orthodox Jews (and some not so orthodox) for years, and they simply would not use Christ's name in this way. Any religious person, Jewish or Christian, wouldn't use God's name in such a derisive way. That's a big taboo in the Orthodox community. I'm not talking Hasidic, just orthodox. I've read Kellerman's books before and always didn't pick up another because of this reason. After a couple of years, I'd pick up another and would be reminded as why I'm not particularly fond of the author or her books, even if they are otherwise well written. It's a shame.