Book Review - Jackie K Cooper - THE BONE BOX by Faye Kellerman
THE BONE BOX is the twenty fourth novel in Faye Kellerman's Rina Lazarus and Peter Decker series. I don't know that I have read all of them but I definitely have read most of them, and they are all good. THE BONE BOX is one of her best. This series focus on Police Detective Decker and his wife Rina. Kellerman always creates a crime to solve but she always makes time to describe the married life of these two very likable people. One important fact is Rina is a strict follower of her Jewish faith and Peter has rediscovered his Jewish roots.
A few books back Decker retired from his work with the police department in LA and the couple moved to New York to be closer to their children. Never one to like being idle, Peter went to work for the local police force. He and Rina quickly became very close with a young law student named Tyler McAdams who spends his summers working with Decker at the police department.
This novel starts out with Rina going for a leisurely walk in the woods surrounding the town where she and Peter live. She is taking some pictures while not wandering too far off the beaten path. She does go far enough to stumble upon the bones of a decayed corpse that has been buried there. She immediately calls Peter and he and Tyler arrive quickly on the scene.
After this body is found, others are discovered. It seems a possible serial killer has buried these bodies in the woods. This starts Decker and Tyler searching for the identities of anyone missing from this small college town. Rina also does her part to gain information about some of these missing persons, as she is quite active in community service involving the college.
What is addictive about Kellerman's novels is how much heart and humor she is able to inject into them. You don't read about Rina. Peter and Tyler from afar. While you are reading her books you are part of their family. And what a family they are. They love their kids, both real and “adopted,” like Tyler; but they mostly love and adore each other. These are two very intelligent and very passionate people who live life to the fullest.
Even in the middle of a shocking crime the rituals of Rina's religion are still covered. Plus she and Peter spar and spat at times like any normal couple, but you never doubt the bonds that hold them together. Rina is there to be a helpmate to Peter and a co-worker if needed, and Peter is there for her in the same way.
Their closeness with Tyler adds even more warmth and humor to the story. He and Peter have a relationship that inspires them to be sarcastic with each other. Still Tyler knows who is the boss and he never crosses the line. Decker snips at Tyler but always with respect for his intelligence and skills. At times they are like an old married couple picking and pecking at each other.
Faye Kellerman is the spouse of famed novelist Jonathan Kellerman. As talented a writer as he is, Faye is never standing in his shadow. At this point in time there may be some who only know Jonathan Kellerman as Faye Kellerman's husband. Plus two of their children, Jesse and Aliza, are also authors.
Faye Kellerman's novels are addictive. Once you read one you have to read all the others. She is unique in her presentation of characters in sometimes gruesome crime stories. She humanizes them all, even those that are the worst in our society. To read her books is to know her. At least that is the way she makes me feel.
THE BONE BOX is published by William Morrow. It contains 432 pages and sells for $27.99.
Jackie K Cooper