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Murder 101 - Review.

Murder 101: A Decker/Lazarus Novel - Faye Kellerman

Publication Date: Available Now.

 

Source: Publisher review copy - thanks Kate!

 

Detective Peter Decker and his wife Rina Lazarus have moved from the chaos of L.A. to upstate New York, to a quiet town that is home to elite colleges and pensioners. Semi-retired and faced with mundane call-outs at the Greenbury Police Department, Decker is becoming bored of life. So when he is called about a potential break-in at the local cemetery, he jumps at the opportunity to investigate.

 

So I'm a HUGE fan of the Kellerman Dynasty - Faye, Jonathan and Jesse - I discovered the Decker/Lazarus series solely through being interested in the Kellerman clan having loved all of the Alex Delaware books - and have been hooked ever since.

 

It is a long running series, has had its ups and downs, but overall has always given an excellent reading experience and this one was no exception. It seems to have been a bit hit and miss with the fans, but for THIS fan it was a hit.

 

Pete Decker, having opted for a slower pace of life, had been bored out of his mind. But when he investigates a robbery which leads to a brutal murder, he is back in his element once again. As the story ebbs and flows towards its final resolution it is, as always, very compelling and absolutely fascinating.

 

The "Murder 101" of the title presumably relates to new character Tyler Mcadams, a wet behind the ears temporary recruit, whose arrogance is immense and who is none too pleased it seems to be stuck with an "Old man" for a partner. Rina of course can see past the bluster and as things progress one of the very best things about this story was the eclectic and ever changing relationship developing between Tyler and Pete. A lot of whether or not you will love this one will come down to your feelings as a reader about him, his background and his persona - for me he was a perfect yin to Decker's yang and  gave a fresh feel and a new ambience to the series as a whole.

 

The mystery element as always was well done - if I had one slight bugbear it was that the art speak was a little too complicated at times and perhaps over egged slightly, possibly too much information occasionally to absorb into the plot as a whole - but putting that aside the "whodunnit" is still a lot of fun to try and work out and there are lots of lovely little twists and turns to keep you on your toes. Excellent writing and sense of place still there, Ms Kellermans style extremely readable.

 

It is true sadly that Pete and Rina are getting on a bit - how much longer they can take front and centre is of course open to discussion - but the series as a whole has a deep and enduring mythology with plenty of more peripheral characters easily able to take the reigns (indeed Cindy, daughter of Pete, has had her own stories already) but despite the division of opinion on the Tyler character I would love to see more of him. His ongoing story bodes well for a scenario where he could take a bigger role and if that was the intention (and I kind of hope it was) then, well, Yay. Although obviously there are people that would disagree...

 

Overall though another terrific read from Faye Kellerman - I am still two books behind on Mr Delaware which gives me something to look forward to - and I have no hesitation of highly recommending the Decker/Lazarus series as a whole entity and indeed you can pick up any individual book and immerse yourself in their world very easily.

 

Happy Reading Folks!