Justice: A Peter Decker and Rina Lazarus Mystery

by Faye Kellerman

Book, 1996

Barcode

123462058

Call number

FIC KEL

Collection

Publication

New York : Avon Books, 1996

Description

Its Prom Night...and the queen is dead. LAPD Homicide Detective Peter Decker and his wife and confidante Rina Lazarus have a daughter of their own. So the the savage murder of a popular high school girl on prom night strikes home... very hard. 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 Californias rootless, affluent youth. But even the confession of a disturbed kid with cold killer eyes cannot soothe Deckers 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.

User reviews

LibraryThing member -Eva-
A teenage girl is found dead in a motel and her mafia-connected on/off boyfriend confesses to the murder in order to keep another girl out of the public eye. This is a bit different than the previous installments in the series in that part of the story is told from another character's point of view
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and that Decker's family is almost entirely absent. At times, it seems a YA love story and at times a mafia story, before returning to be a standard Decker-mystery. Although the plot occasionally teeters on the brink of improbability and the characters (especially the ones we already know) behave somewhat cardboardy, it is quite engaging and keeps the interest up until the (surprisingly) open end.
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LibraryThing member mazda502001
Another good book in the series by this author. Never had a duff one so far.

Back Cover Blurb:
Called to investigate the shocking murder of a high-school student, Detective Sergeant Peter Decker finds himself face to face with a world of casual drunkenness, sex, and, it seems, violence - the world of
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suburban Los Angeles's affluent, rootless teenagers. And, as the father of a nineteen year old daughter, Decker must deal with not only the brutality of the killing but with his own parental terror.
When a disturbed young man with a mysterious history is identified as the prime suspect , everyone is relieved - except for Decker, whose professionalism and integrity lead him to startling and controversial conclusions.
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LibraryThing member raizel
More explicit than I expected after having read only The Ritual Bath, the book not only works as a mystery but also raises questions about love and trust and what is forgivable.
LibraryThing member blueeyedgoover
Great Great book....would rather follow the Donattis than the dectective however, perhaps the next will touch upon it??
LibraryThing member PatinIrmo
Was put off track at the beginning of chapter 2--there is some mistake, what is this about. Turned out one of best in Decker/Lazarus series. Don't know much about mafia but felt there was a lot of truth in some of their dealings. Characters were well developed and gave insight in true life. Terry's
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disfunctational family made her into a better person, but she never had a healthy childhood to help her ____________
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LibraryThing member JalenV
It's hardly fair to label Justice a 'Peter Decker/Rina Lazarus' novel because Rina has been relegated to a few scenes. At least she, now two-year-old Hannah Rose, and Ginger get to be in scenes. The boys and Cindy are behind the scenes only. Peter's partner, Marge Dunn, is on vacation, but there's
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an Officer Wanda Bontemps from Wilshire substation who helps Peter solve the case. So does a Detective Bert Martinez from Van Nuys.

Peter is on edge because Cindy's college has a serial rapist who has avoided being caught. Then a girl not much younger than Cindy is found murdered. Peter is so caught up in the case that he's hardly home.

A beautiful high school student from the same school as the victim, Terry McLaughlin, gets some of what would normally be Rina's chapters. She's a good girl who loves a mysterious gorgeous boy at her school, Chris Whitman. Chris gets the prologue and the rest of Rina's chapters.

Chris is an accomplished cellist and artist. He misses a lot of school to play at gigs, so he hires Terry to tutor him. Terry is trying to earn money for college. Meanwhile, she studies, tutors, does the cooking, cleaning, and housekeeping at home while her stepmother works/goes out. It's a good thing for her little half-sister, Melissa, that Terry is willing to give her all of the mothering her own mother can't be bothered to give her.

Terry and Chris' love story isn't bad, but I'd prefer more Rina and family. At least Peter, Bert, and Wanda get their murders solved.

By the way, the real-life 1994 Northridge 6.7 magnitude earthquake gets some mention (as a past event) in this entry.

Note on chapter 35:

'Paraschat Pinchas,' the Torah reading that Rina might give a talk about in Rebbitzen Schulman's absence is from the Book of Numbers, chapter 25. Pinchas was Phinehas, son of Eleazer, son of Moses' brother, Aaron. (I recognized the story because Rina mentions that he speared Zimri and the Midianite princess, Kozby -- 'Cozby' to Catholics such as myself.)

Dog lovers: besides a cameo or two for Peter's Irish Setter, Ginger, there's a watchdog whom Peter handles better than her owner does.
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LibraryThing member Olivermagnus
Justice deals with the murder of a Los Angeles prom queen who was found tied to a bed in a hotel room and strangled to death. The most obvious suspect is Chris Whitman, her date, who appears to be just another high school student. Although he's graduating this year, he is older than most of the
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other students and lives in an expensive apartment he pays for by his cello concerts. The prime suspect, Chris Whitman, is related to an important Mafia figure. He's also a pathological liar and probable sociopath. But did he commit the murder? Peter Decker doesn't think so, even though his lieutenant is pressuring him to arrest Chris.

Terry, a smart, hard-working high school senior, is asked to tutor Chris. He's handsome, charismatic and way out of her league she thinks. As she becomes more attracted to him, she enters a world of lies and intrigue and Chris becomes obsessed with Terry. This book is loaded with twists and turns, and deals with police politics, race relations, and gangland justice.

I always enjoy the character development of Peter Decker and his wife, Rina Lazarus and the authentic Judaism keeps me interested in both the mystery and their daily life. There is less of Peter and Rina in this book but the author does present the psychological angst of the two young lovers in a realistic way. This is the eighth Peter Decker/Rina Lazerus mystery and was one of my favorites when I read it years ago. I didn't realize there were several sequels to the storyline and decided to do a re-read of them in order: Justice, Stone Kiss, Hangman, Gun Games and Beast (I think).
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LibraryThing member AnnieMod
That is an unusual book for the series. Marge is on vacation (so Peter ends up working with another cop (unintentionally first); Rina is mostly missing, Cindy is away in college (and making her father anxious because of a rapist on campus), the boys do not even make an appearance and Hannah Rose
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shows up almost as a background.

But we get to meet Terry McLaughlin - almost half of the book is from her POV - a good student that does not get much love at home. And then she meets Chris - a fellow student, a bit older than her, with a music career that takes him away - which causes him to fall behind at school. Thus Terry finds herself tutoring him - and falling in love with him. The only way she knows how - completely and without reservations.

But unfortunately this is not a happy story. Chris has a dark past and even darker present - between the mafia, murders and past connections, he is as far away as possible from Terry. When a girl is found dead, he is the main suspect - and the dark secrets start unraveling. Decker gets pulled into the case and starts finding connections to older cases - until he is pulled off it and the case is closed with a decision that just does not sit well. It takes him a while to decide that it really cannot sit and he is off investigating again - against orders and expectations. He finds the truth but you get to wonder, is it enough? And what would really be justice in this case.

In a way it is the story of a lost innocence - both Chris's and Terry's; about consequences and choices. It is also a lot more explicit in its sex scenes than I ever remember Kellerman being. Going to jail for the one you love is an old trope but it is done here in a way that breaks your heart. Love does not seem to be enough and yet that is all that Terry and Chris have - even with the murder in the middle of the story.

The ending is almost perfect - anything else would not have really worked - the darkness of the story matches the darkness in everyone's heart. At the end of the day, it is a love story - the love story of two broken kids that never had any choice in anything that happened to them.
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LibraryThing member Olivermagnus
Justice deals with the murder of a Los Angeles prom queen who was found tied to a bed in a hotel room and strangled to death. The most obvious suspect is Chris Whitman, her date, who appears to be just another high school student. Although he's graduating this year, he is older than most of the
Show More
other students and lives in an expensive apartment he pays for by his cello concerts. The prime suspect, Chris Whitman, is related to an important Mafia figure. He's also a pathological liar and probable sociopath. But did he commit the murder? Peter Decker doesn't think so, even though his lieutenant is pressuring him to arrest Chris.

Terry, a smart, hard-working high school senior, is asked to tutor Chris. He's handsome, charismatic and way out of her league she thinks. As she becomes more attracted to him, she enters a world of lies and intrigue and Chris becomes obsessed with Terry. This book is loaded with twists and turns, and deals with police politics, race relations, and gangland justice.

I always enjoy the character development of Peter Decker and his wife, Rina Lazarus and the authentic Judaism keeps me interested in both the mystery and their daily life. There is less of Peter and Rina in this book but the author does present the psychological angst of the two young lovers in a realistic way. This is the eighth Peter Decker/Rina Lazerus mystery and was one of my favorites when I read it years ago. I didn't realize there were several sequels to the storyline and decided to do a re-read of them in order: Justice, Stone Kiss, Hangman, Gun Games and Beast (I think).
Show Less

Original publication date

1995

ISBN

0380724987 / 9780380724987
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