cover image The Mercedes Coffin

The Mercedes Coffin

Faye Kellerman, . . Morrow, $25.95 (367pp) ISBN 978-0-06-122733-2

In bestseller Kellerman's uneven 17th novel to feature LAPD Lt. Peter Decker and wife Rina Lazarus (after 2007's The Burnt House ), Decker must solve a 15-year-old cold case—the murder of saintly Bennett Little, a high school history teacher whose bound body the police found, with three shots in the back of his head, in the trunk of Little's Mercedes. When unscrupulous music producer Primo Ekerling turns up dead in the trunk of his Mercedes, Genoa Greeves, a wealthy computer mogul with fond memories of Little as a teacher, offers the LAPD a seven-figure charitable donation to reopen the case. Early in the reinvestigation, Decker is brought up short when one of the original cops on the case “eats his gun” just before a scheduled appointment with the lieutenant. Finding a link between Little and Eckerling won't prove easy. Fans may enjoy the interplay among Decker, Rina and their children, but newcomers would be advised to start with an earlier entry in this popular crime series. (Aug.)