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If you enjoy this series mostly because of the wonderful Rina Lazarus Decker and her children and/or because of the fascinating peeks into the world of ultraorthodox (Torah) Judaism, skip this one. Rina is barely in this book, her sons are totally absent, and daughter Hannah is still a toddler. What limited religious discussion there is centers on Roman Catholic Guilt.
In "Justice," family life and religion take a (very) back seat to, in plain words, explicit and perverse but nonetheless erotic sex, and to the introduction of two new characters who (fortunately, in my opinion) will show up in several later entries in this series.
Large segments of the book are narrated in the first person by 16-year-old Theresa McLaughlin, a precociously intelligent and immensely beautiful senior at a Valley high school whose family life is barren and dysfunctional. She recounts her relationship and sexual awakening with Christopher Whitman, an equally beautiful senior at the same high school, but older and mysteriously independent. He is also a musical prodigy (classical cello) and the adopted son of a Mafioso who has brought him up to be a stone-cold killer. His childhood makes Terry's family miseries look like a day at the beach.
I've liked most of the Decker/Lazarus books, and find "Justice" to be one of the most engrossing and interesting. Murder doesn't happen until 2/3 of the way in, but when it does, it's a gripping and baffling case that takes a lot of unexpected twists. There is no doubt that Terry and, most especially, Chris are compelling characters; not surprising that Faye Kellerman will bring them back in later books. Yay!
Now the bad news. Mitch Greenberg, who narrates most of the books in this series, is a straightforward "cop procedural" narrator who does a good job with Detective Peter Decker and has accomplished a more than acceptable characterization of Rina. He also does a good job as Chris. But he is *totally* out of his element when he takes on the first-person narrations by Theresa. She whines like an immature Valley Girl, when in fact the character is mature beyond her years and the musically gifted Chris first notices her because of her resonant and lovely speaking voice. Oops. With at least a third of the book (and all the erotic scenes) narrated this way, it is a shame the publisher could not have sprung for a really good female reader for the role of Terry.
9 of 9 people found this review helpful
This is the first book I've read of Faye Kellerman's and has got me hooked on the characters of Chris and Terry. These two are drawn to each other from the start of the book, and just grows into a turmoil of emotions from both sides. She's good to the core, and he's rotten to the core (almost), but you can't help not liking him. Their story is woven around a murder that Chris is right in the middle of, thus bringing in Peter Decker, to investigate. Not a dull moment to this story, and the ending blows your mind. This one is well worth your time, if you like psychological thrillers.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful