cover image Day of Atonement

Day of Atonement

Faye Kellerman. William Morrow & Company, $20 (359pp) ISBN 978-0-688-08604-6

Kellerman's fourth mystery to feature Peter Decker and Rina Lazarus, last seen in Milk and Honey , begins in the Orthodox Jewish community of Boro Park, Brooklyn (N.Y.), where the newlyweds have traveled to celebrate the High Holy Days with Rina's family and that of her late first husband. Early on, Peter, a detective with the LAPD, makes a deeply troubling discovery about his own family, which he is unable to pursue when the disappearance of one of the community's teenage boys commands his attention. Peter learns that the youngster has been befriended by a disturbed man, and the hunt takes Peter out of the tight-knit Jewish neighborhood and. with Rina, eventually back to L.A. There, the boy's involvement with crime and the deteriorating state of his companion add urgency to a search that culminates in a dangerous encounter on the deserted outskirts of the airport. The plight of the lost youth is less compelling than the conflicts faced by Peter as he struggles with unsettling consequences of his past, the demands of his newly adopted religion and the personal vagaries of his much-loved, independent Rina. The odd couple of the genre remains interesting, but this adventure lacks the passion and suspense of earlier outings. (June)