STONE KISS by Faye Kellerman

stone kissThe 14th Decker and Lazarus story, this one about a member of Decker’s extended birth family — the brother-in-law of Decker’s half brother, who all live in a small upstate New York community that is mostly frum – very religious, and a small section that is not religious Jews.

The Deckers get a frantic call from his stepbrother that his wife’s brother has been found naked and murdered in a seedy Manhattan hotel room and the man’s niece, the last person who may have seen the victim alive, has disappeared. Crazed with worry, the girl’s parents plead for Decker’s help.  So natch, Decker and Rina dash cross country to help out (read meddle in police affairs with whom he is not connected).  

In this  volume we learn that sins are sins and that just because a person calls himself a religious person, doesn’t mean he may not be involved in smuggling, addiction to controlled substances,  dopers, customer of prostitution, or engage in embesslement of city funds in order to benefit their own private Orthodox schools.

Decker is on the trail of the missing girl, the family is throwing obstacles in his way, it is all getting very murky, when he comes across a nefarious mob character from Justice,  and contacts him for help in finding the girl.  OK.  I just can’t imagine a seasoned cop, a lieutenant for Pete’s sake, consorting with a mob guy whom he doesn’t trust.  The whole thing just made no sense, the whole storyline was just too too, if you know what I mean.  I just don’t see a cop from one coast getting all involved in a police investigation on another coast.

Well, like I said, not every swing of the bat produces a home run. So far, this was my least favorite of the series.  I have  two more to write about, but I have gotten series fatigue, so I have already moved on to other pastures.

And I can’t remember exactly what stone kiss refers to.  Something to do with a kiss on the neck that turned the kissee to stone.  It has to do with lying, not with the Blarney Stone kind of thing.

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