Decker Does it Again!
With the help of his ever-faithful companion and partner Rina, LAPD Lieutenant Pete Decker once again solves the crime.
Or should I say crimes? Because as usual in a Faye Kellerman mystery --- and this is number 12 --- nothing is ever quite what it appears to be. Kellerman has an amazing knack for taking what appears to be obvious and twisting it until you doubt your own logic and reasoning, making you think you're wrong. And she makes it all seem oh-so-simple. What's more, she's got a unique knack for capturing personalities through conversation.
Dr. Emil Euler Ganz was a world-famous and respected astrophysicist and scientist, brilliant philosopher and thinker. He spent years as a distinguished professor at the Southwest University of Technology trying to prove his radical theories on cosmology. Throughout his professional life, he was never able to come up with the proof, but it didn't stop him. He simply dropped out of society without warning to family, friend or colleagues --- and then reappeared 10 years later as "Father Jupiter" --- the founder of a pseudoscientific cult called the Order of the Rings of God. As Father Jupiter, he ruled his hundreds of disciples with his intense charisma, spiritual words about time travel and a better place --- and an iron fist.
Suddenly Ganz turns up dead, with an empty fifth of vodka and a vial of pills by his bedside. Because of his notoriety, the case lands in Deck's lap. Is this an accident? A suicide? A homicide? As the "Loo" and his team of detectives enter deeper and deeper into the Order's business, Jupiter's four "privileged" attendants become especially indignant. Things get worse when two cult members, one a child, disappear, and the members accuse the police of kidnapping them.
Decker is doing a juggling act, dealing with this Order and his own problems at home. Readers familiar with the ongoing saga of Pete and Rina Decker know that there's always something going on, and this time is no exception: Rina's son has decided to study in Israel in Gush Etzion behind the Green Line in disputed territory. But that's not the only problem at home...
Meanwhile, things in the cult are starting to really heat up. Decker, as always, with the support of Rina and his crackerjack team of officers, keeps plugging away to solve the crimes, as they get weirder and weirder. As they pick through a tangled mess of forensic evidence, mangled murdered bodies, hidden pasts and deadly secrets, the probe continues, erupting finally into volcanic violence that threatens the lives of everyone around it.
JUPITER'S BONES is an engrossing read from start to finish. Kellerman keeps the story moving, the dialogue flowing, and she has a way of capturing the relationships between people. As a reviewer, I feel that a book should hold the reader's interest throughout --- and this one held mine. As a reader, my criterion for a worthwhile reading experience is "did I learn something"? It can be something as small as a factoid that actually has very little relevance to my everyday life, but I want to have something to take away. This book satisfies that need many times over.
Reviewed by Jill Zaklow on June 27, 2007