Gun Games Paperback Faye Kellerman Decker/Lazarus Novel 2012 Harper


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Gun Games: A Decker/Lazarus Novel (Book 20) Mass Market Paperback
by Faye Kellerman (Author)

“[Kellerman] does for the American cop what P. D. James has done for the British mystery, lifting it beyond its genre.”—Richmond Times-Dispatch

In Gun Games, Kellerman once again showcases Peter Decker of the LAPD and Rina Lazarus, arguably the most popular husband and wife team in contemporary crime fiction. A rash of shocking adolescent suicides at an elite Los Angeles private school is at the heart of this gripping thriller that also focuses on the troubled teen Decker and Lazarus have brought into their home: Gabriel Whitman, the son of a psychopath. Herself one-half of one of noir fiction’s true “power couples”—along with her husband, acclaimed mystery writer Jonathan Kellerman—Faye Kellerman once again demonstrates how American police procedural writing is done to perfection with Gun Games.

The Hesse suicide strikes a troubling chord in the household of Decker and his wife, Rina Lazarus, now that they’ve taken in Gabe Whitman—the gifted and brilliant fifteen-year-old son of a killer—whose own unexplained comings and goings only remind Decker that he knows almost nothing about the secretive boy living under his roof. But it’s a second teen suicide—a young girl who attended the same exclusive prep school as Gregory Hesse—that points Decker and his detectives down a dark alley of twisted allegiances and unholy alliances . . . and toward a cold-blooded group of high schoolers with a shocking predilection for guns and violence.

Publisher Harper; Reprint edition (2012)
Paperback 480 pages
ISBN-13 978-0062066961
Weight 9.4 ounces
Dimensions 4.19 x 1.08 x 7.5 inches

This book features Lt Peter Decker…the good sport orthodox jew, who fell in love with his wife, Rina Lazurus, a previous crime victim, and converted to orthodox judaism. The setting is usually in and around the county of Los Angeles, of which I am a native. Decker is stationed out of Devonshire Division, which is in the northwest corner of the San Fernando Valley, about 30 minutes from LA. We measure everything here in time, not miles!

A stunning suicide of a teen-age boy is brought to his attention. The boy had no known problems, went to a very prestigious school, and his poor mother is clueless as to why he would do this. Even though the coroner has ruled this as a suicide, Decker is a very empathetic man, and starts looking into the back story of this boy for the distraught mother, along with his regular duties and handling the usual homicides and burglaries that occur in a fairly large geographic area.

In the meantime, Gabriel Whitman, himself a troubled teen and the son of a psycopath we met in an earlier book, is dealing with teen-age hormones while perfecting his genius talent as a pianist, while living with the Deckers.

I think what grabbed me most in this book besides the stellar plotting, the slowly building psychological profiles and the familiarity with most of the re-occuring characters is that this topic, teen-age suicide, is rising at an alarming rate. With the internet, texting and multitude of freedoms that teens have these days, does anyone really know what their kids are doing? Does anyone sit down to eat with their kids and monitor who they are building relationships with? Anyone with two parents that doesn’t have to work two jobs or both work these days just to get by?

As the story progresses, another teen commits suicide, and they realize that this second tragedy is just the tip of the iceberg.

Rina and Decker’s kids are all away from home; either working or going to college in other areas. Gabriel is the only one left in their home, and Rina and Decker enjoy having Gabriel in their home. While they aren’t really responsible for his upbringing, they bring a wonderful sense of morality and nurturing to this troubled teen.

I enjoyed reading about Gabriel’s innocent feelings towards another young girl who has been brought up in a very protected environment, and how all the good in him came out while fighting his natural hormonal feelings for this naive young girl. It was a tad of the Romeo and Juliet story in amongst the sociopathic nature of a budding criminal, and the lost boys and girls that are attracted to the main perpetrator of the story.

I ended up telling myself: “Just one more chapter, ok, one more”, and finally, at 5:30 a.m., I was finished with the book, and exhausted in a great way!

Do you need to have read all the other Decker/Lazarus novels to appreciate this one? No, I personally don’t think so, but it’s great to see the evolution of the Deckers, and how they came to be the people they are now. It adds a touch of flavor to compare how they were with their own kids growing up, how they came to know each other and grow as a couple, as well as the tough jobs they both have!

I highly recommend this book.


Like new condition.