Murder 101

Faye Kellerman. Morrow, $26.99 (384p) ISBN 978-0-06-227018-4
Art theft provides the theme for bestseller Kellerman’s deftly researched 22nd Peter Dekker/Rina Lazarus novel (after 2013’s The Beast). Dekker, recently retired from the LAPD, has traded palm trees and sunshine for the snowy winters of upstate New York, taking a job in law enforcement in the sleepy college town of Greenbury. The effect of Dekker’s Orthodox Jewish beliefs add color to the narrative: for example, when he looks into a theft from a cemetery, it’s Shabbat, so he has to travel on foot, instead of by car. After two homicides in the area, Dekker picks up the trail of an art thief whose sights are set higher than a few graveyard treasures. While Kellerman includes too many unimportant details in the story, whether the description of an apartment’s heating system or an unappetizing kosher dinner, her skillful development of characters, both old and new, somewhat atones for this, and almost excuses this installment’s lapses in tension. (Sept.)
Reviewed on: 07/14/2014
Release date: 09/02/2014
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