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Publisher's Summary

Detective Peter Decker of the LAPD is stunned when he gets the report. Someone has shattered the sanctuary of a remote yeshiva community in the California hills with an unimaginable crime. One of the women was brutally raped as she returned from the mikvah, the bathhouse where the cleansing ritual is performed.

The crime was called in by Rina Lazarus, and Decker is relieved to discover that she is a calm and intelligent witness. She is also the only one in the sheltered community willing to speak of this unspeakable violation. As Rina tries to steer Decker through the maze of religious laws, the two grow closer. But before they get to the bottom of this horrendous crime, revelations come to light that are so shocking that they threaten to come between the hard-nosed cop and the deeply religious woman with whom he has become irrevocably linked.

©1986 Faye Kellerman; (P)2007 HarperCollins Publishers

Critic Reviews

"Phenomenal!" (Murder Inc.)
A Master of Mystery" (Cleveland Plain Dealer)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 3.9 out of 5.0
  • 5 Stars
    333
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  • 3 Stars
    207
  • 2 Stars
    75
  • 1 Stars
    41

Performance

  • 4.2 out of 5.0
  • 5 Stars
    296
  • 4 Stars
    214
  • 3 Stars
    101
  • 2 Stars
    19
  • 1 Stars
    16

Story

  • 4.0 out of 5.0
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    252
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    215
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    37
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  • Overall

Good Read

Very enjoyable book. Lively characters, good plot, unusual setting -- an Orthodox Jewish Yeshiva. The book was informative as well as enjoyable. I liked the ending too, it wasn't what I expected. The narrator did an excellent job. Highly recommend this audie.

I have one negative, and it's the same thing I said about "The Brief, Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao." There is a fair amount of Yiddish and Hebrew in the book. Most of the time I was either familiar with the words or could glean the meaning from context -- I think. For example, Rina calls her son "shmulie." I know this to be a term of endearment used by parent to child. But -- had I not known this, I could just as easily have concluded that this was an affectionate diminutive of the child's name.

Once again I was left with the feeling that I hadn't read the entire book, that fine points of nuance and color had escaped me in the language. And for a book as good as this (or "Oscar") I want every word, every shade of color, every slight hint of nuance.

Do not however, let this deter you from listening to this excellent book. You'll understand the majority of what's said and often it's explained, at one point or another.

22 of 23 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story
  • Pam F
  • Forest, VA, United States
  • 02-29-08

An entertaining listen

Bought this on a lark and wasn't disappointed. The story kept moving and drew me in.

What a surprising place for a murder! The view into a culture that I've only "bumped into" here in Baltimore - devout, Judaism - was fascinating. The characters were all believable as well as engaging.

I'd recommend this book to a friend.

15 of 16 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Good First Book

This was my first Faye Kellerman book and the first that she published. It was a good story with a deep insight into the Jewish world. I thought the story line was wrapped up too quickly at the end and the relationship between the two main characters was too rushed. But I enjoyed it and plan to continue this series.

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Wonderfully entertaining

George Guidall was excellent. I will listen to more books narrated by him in the future. I enjoyed the book. Loved the mystery (I did figure it out before the end) and also loved learning about the Jewish rituals. I had previously read Milk and Honey, but now I'm going back to read them all. Rina and Peter are a good couple!

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Very enjoyable-- except for the music

I found this novel very enjoyable. The narrator does a good job of characterizing the voices and helping move the narrative along. The story is very suspenseful, and I liked the characters and wanted to learn more about them. I will definitely purchase another book in the series.

My only complaint is with the music that the producer seems to have inserted at random. It goes on too long and does not match the tone of the passages. I would give this book 5 stars without the awful music. I would have thought the music might at least have a Jewish "flavor" to it, but it's just run-of-the-mill suspense flick music. I usually just forward through it.

It says quite a bit for the narrator and the novel itself that even though I understand the same wretched music flaws other books in the series, I still plan to purchase them.

11 of 12 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Nina
  • Arlington, VA, USA
  • 08-29-08

Yes!

If you like the Decker/Lazarus series of mysteries (and I do), this is the first one and I had somehow missed it when it first came out. Listening to it now that I have several under my belt was really a pleasure as we watch how the whole thing began between these 2 people, as well as get a well-done mystery

9 of 10 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Loved it!

I bought this during a $4.99 sale of series novels. Great idea Audible! I bought the next book in the series as soon as I finished this one. I like books that get right into the action with no boring character development. This series also offers a great view into an interesting culture.

6 of 7 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Donna
  • Lakeland, FL, United States
  • 02-18-08

a good story.

This book gives you a glimps at another way of life. I found it interesting with good characters and a nice story line.

8 of 11 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story
  • Tim
  • Jupiter, FL, United States
  • 01-26-17

Not a mystery or a thriller

What would have made The Ritual Bath better?

Mystery, conflict, excitment

What was most disappointing about Faye Kellerman’s story?

Faye writes well, just a boring story for me. I think Scooby Doo has more mystery and is more interesting

What three words best describe Mitchell Greenberg’s performance?

Clarity, he reads well

What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

I was falling asleep

Any additional comments?

So if you want to learn about a strict Jewish culture, this is interesting. Unfortunately it is just not that exciting to read.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story
  • K.
  • CARLSBAD, NM, United States
  • 07-10-12

Discover a new detective novel series.

Peter Decker & Rina Decker are an interesting duo. The mix of the criminal detective and descovery of his background and religions life make an interesting and enlightening read.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful