Along with solving a mystery, the reader learns many Jewish traditions.
The first of the Peter Decker/Rina Lazarus novels....If you've read any of the others and wondered how these two got together, this is their story. Kellerman tells a great story, one of those books that you don't want to put down, she draws you into the story and the people's lives. Lots of background into Jewish beliefs and customs. The story line is well-drawn and tense. I've become a Kellerman fan.
Peter Decker is a divorced LAPD detective who has the misfortune of picking up a rape case in a Jewish community. Why is this a misfortune? He is already working a rape case that has the police force scrambling. Rina Lazarus is a Torah Jew, and it is a good friend of hers that has been brutalized while walking home from the mikvah (the bathhouse where a cleansing ritual is performed). Together, they form an unlikely alliance to find the rapist.
One of the things I liked about this book, beyond the main story, was the side story of the attraction between Decker and Rina. In almost any other book, this would have been easily resolved by the end. So what if Rina was extremely religious and could not consider being with anyone outside her religion? So what that Decker was a Gentile with a Jewish ex-wife and a Jewish daughter? Normally, these obstacles would be overcome. Not so here (and no, I am not giving away the ending with this). Kellerman is very good at keeping Rina true to her religion but yet letting her feel the angst of developing feelings for Decker.
The book was a good read. My one complaint would be that when characters made comments in Hebrew, it would have been nice to have a translation instead of my having to guess what was being said by using the context of the passage I was reading.
I am hoping that the next book of this series keeps up with the quality of this one.
This is the first in a series-check on the Faye Kellerman web site for the order in which the books were written. The mysteries are all different but to follow the Peter-Rina story you'll enjoy them more in order. There are carry-over characters-cops, Peter's daughter (with a wonderful story of her own), Rina's kids, etc. I enjoyed these books perhaps even more than those written by her husband, Jonathan Kellerman. Enjoy.
Read this some time ago, but remember it fondly.