Sunday, November 15, 2015

Book Review: Faye Kellerman's Theory of Death

Sharon Long is here today to share her review of the latest in the Decker/Lazarus series by Faye Kellerman.

The Theory of Death is the 23rd book in this series, making it one of the larger series of books. Faye began this series featuring Peter Decker, a cop, and his orthodox Jewish wife, Rina in 1986. I enjoy reading books by authors which are new to me. I know 23 books in a series and I’ve never read any of them. That being said, I did not feel like I was jumping in late as Faye does an incredible job of bringing the reader quickly up to speed with the characters. I am now anxious to go back and read earlier books in this series. 

Decker, a former Lieutenant for the LAPD, is now a detective in Greenbury, a quiet, peaceful town in upstate NY. Tyler McAdams, his former partner who was shot a year ago, calls and asks if he could stay with Peter and Rina for a couple of weeks. Tyler is now a law student at Harvard and needs a quiet place to study for the bar. Decker agrees and drives to meet Tyler at the bus station. As they are on their way to the house, a call comes in. A nude male body has been found in the woods. Decker and McAdams drive to the scene and start to look around but all indications are suicide. However, first they must identify the body and decide to start with the various private colleges in the area. 

The body is identified as a math genius at Kneed Loft College, the math, physics, and engineering college. Tyler begs Peter to let him help with the case as tort law is nothing compared to dead bodies. The investigation which follows leads Decker and McAdams into the world of mathematical prodigies, deception, equations and secret ciphers. As they look deeper, they realize academia can be deadly.

What I enjoyed most about The Theory of Death was the use of math and mathematical equations in this story. I found that to be unique and interesting. The relationships between the main characters Peter, Tyler and Rina are believable and heartwarming. The way Rina talks with her husband about the suspects, even meeting some of them and interacting with Peter about the murder really added to the story. There are several viable suspects and the author does a great job of presenting them and their reasons to the reader. 

You can read a sample of The Theory of Death here

This book was provided to Mystery Playground by William Morrow. The review is fair and independent. 

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