Cop Pete Decker gets an assignment for a rape case – to add up, victim Lilah Brecht’s safe is empty, her house is a mess and she was beaten up. Working juvey, Pete is used to deal with rape victims – some react against a male cop with lots of distrust, others rather try to bond as a result from the shock. Lilah is a special woman: “She burst into tears. Decker handed her a box of Kleenex and waited. Ordinarily, he might have patted her hand or shoulder. But something stopped him from touching this woman.“ p 92 His gut instinct is just right – the woman is beautiful, rich, sexy, used to getting things her way. And that is Pete, with what type of work she wants him to do and as a man. Great deal, while he has enough of a load with his beloved new wife Rina pregnant, the two young sons from her first marriage just about to adjust with the changes in the family, and Pete’s daughter from his respective first marriage just not adjusting all too well.
Lilah’s family is not too helpful, either: her mom, ex-B-moviestar Davida Eversong, worries rather about her jewels that got stolen from Lilah’s safe, and then there is a full load of brothers and employees at the spa run by Lilah to interfere. So what is this all about? It might be something personal, a raid gone wrong or a special attempt to get either the memoirs written by Lilah’s father, the jewels or Lilah. The case gets some impetus when a suspect can be identified from traces in Lilah’s bed and somebody goes missing…
Back again 8 months after Pete Decker and Rina (formerly Lazarus) got married; with Rina pregnant and slightly more emotional, there is a medium level of her involvement in the storyline – fine with me, as long as it does not become less of her. More from Pete’s partner Marge Dunn – great. This time, there is less of an insight in Judaism, and the orthodox portion is hardly played at all, just standard religious routine along the way. With book no 2, that was about similar –you will have lots of patchwork family experience in this book which I found highly entertaining and realistic. The solution is very much different from standard schemes, really beyond ‘open‘ or ‘not open‘ – I rather appreciated that.
Now there is one of the reasons coming up why I love to read book series and what seriously bugs me about them. Something is repetetive – and that is what you get accustomed to and what wears you out the same. The Decker Lazarus books are part re-read (the first ones) part new or shelf of unread books (SUB), like this one. After a while, some habits really become a pain in the lower back: Pete Decker is a cop, still, most of the crimes he gets to solve in the installments do not come to him as a professional, he rather happens to stumble into them.
No 2, Sacred and Profane: his stepson finds two charred corpses when they go camping
No 3, Milk and Honey, driving around at night, Decker spots a toddler – the pajamas soaked in blood.
No 4, Day of Atonement, Deckers honeymooning and visiting family – a boy disappears. This time, the cop is rather driving around privately, but decides to take a call. Well – half-o.k., then. Oh, and: you will always find one way to handle an issue with Pete or his family repeated, but differently, in the case, I noticed, like discussion different approaches. THAT is a repetition I consider to go beyond standard crime novels.
5 stars, with at least one of them for the realistic patchwork family portion and the special ending.