Dang, these Peter Decker/Rina Lazarus mysteries are like Frito Lays: you can’t read just one. Fortunately for me, Faye Kellerman has written 22 of them so far, so I can indulge my addiction a while longer. Justice is number 8 in the series. If you type the author’s name in the search box on this page, that will bring up what I had to say about the other 7 books.
I think I like them because they each have an overriding theme that connects with a tenet of Jewish Law or of the Torah, or Jewish life. Since Rina is an Orthodox Jew and therefore very religious and runs an orthodox religious home, we learn a lot about the Jewish culture(?), religion(?), way of life(?).
The official blurb on this one is: Called to investigate the shocking murder of a local high school’s prom queen, detective Peter Decker confronts an especially exotic subculture: the rootless, affluent, sometimes violent teenagers of Southern California. As the father of a nineteen-year-old daughter, Decker must deal not only with the brutality of the killing but with his own parental terror. When a disturbed young man with a mysterious history is identified as the prime suspect, everyone is relieved – except for Decker, whose professionalism and integrity lead him to startling and controversial conclusions.
This was more police work oriented than family and Jewish life oriented, and with the introduction of a young man who turns out to be the adopted son of a New York mob guy, rather more chilling than the other books. In it we have a first-person point of view of one of the principal characters, which is a departure in this series.
Decker uncovers some corruption in his department, which in the end means an upgrade for him to Lieutenant. We see how strong the unusual marriage between Decker and Rina is, and the important role the kids play in their lives.
The ending leaves us asking ourselves if justice has been truly served, and if so, how?
Love this series. Just love it.