Saturday, September 7, 2013

As Good as "Serpents Tooth"

The Beast: A Decker/Lazarus Novel (Decker/Lazarus Novels)
The Beast: A Decker/Lazarus Novel (Decker/Lazarus Novels)
by Faye Kellerman
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $18.68

5.0 out of 5 stars As Good as "Serpents Tooth"September 7, 2013

"The professional and the personal intersect in treacherous ways in this compelling and eerie installment in Faye Kellerman's thrilling New York Times bestselling Decker/Lazarus seriesThroughout 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—the most bizarre of his storied career.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, Detectives Marge Dunn and Scott Oliver, 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 a case involving the two most primal instincts—sex and murder—Decker wrestles with a difficult choice. Should he turn to a man with expert knowledge of both, Chris Donatti, the dangerous man who also happens to be the father of Decker's foster son, Gabriel Whitman, a boy not without his own problems?As their work and intimate worlds collide, Decker and his wife, Rina, find themselves facing tough questions. It just might be that family crises and work-related responsibilities prove too much for Decker's career. A confluence of ordeals can stress even the most intact of families. And when all these shocking truths comes out, exactly how well will Decker and Rina cope, and survive?"

I have been away from this series for a few years now and I was worried that I wouldn’t be able to get into this book as I might have forgotten so much about the main characters.  Well Ms Kellerman made it real easy for me to pop back in and take up where I had left off.  Yes, if you are a first time reader you may want to start with the very first book, but I see no problem starting here if you want.  Each of Ms. Kellerman’s book can be read as a stand-alone if you wish.

This book opens with a bang and a growl. The  main crime we are pulled right into concerns a dead elderly recluse.  Did I happen to mention that he was brilliant and richer than rich?  This recluse just happened to keep a Bengal tiger as a pet.and that makes this a very unpleasant crime scene to go through, since the man , Hobart Penny, has been dead for several days and a  tiger has been on the loose!

Soon we will find that Hobart Penny was more of a beast than the tiger was and the crime gets harder and harder to solve,

Ms. Kellerman does a fantastic job with her characters, writing them vividly in her usual style.  There is humor interspersed with the goriness and that is much appreciated by this fan.  
The secondary story was not as appreciated by me and won’t be if you have not kept up with the books as I have not..  The secondary story concerns Rina and Deckers foster son who is a 17-year-old prodigy  with the piano and his girlfriend.  It was a pleasant diversion, but I would have much rather have had more about the crime than that story.

Some parts of this book did seem to leave gaps that are never fully explained, but they are not really germane to the main story.  The author seems to have chosen not to over-write this novel and to let our imaginations fly.

I will now be reading this series from the very beginning and fall in love with the characters again.  Plus I really do have to see what I’ve been missing since I’ve been away!

------------------------------àSpoiler Alert ß-----------------------------------------

I have looked, although not as carefully as I could have, to see if this is the last book in the series.  I understand that the author is writing a stand-alone book next.  Will we have more Decker and Rina now that he is going to move to the east coast?  Will we get snippets from Marge’s life now that she is engaged to be married and will be moving…what about Oliver?  These are all characters that we have come to respect and like and I think I will be missing them if they do not show up once in a while. *ARC supplied by publisher*

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