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am 27. November 1997
The first of eleven novels in the Peter Decler/Rina Lazarus series, The Ritual Bath, published in 1986, throws the two together for the first time when Decker is assigned to investigate a rape at the mikvah in the Orthodox complex where Rina lives with her two sons, Shumel (Sammy) and Yaakov (Jacob or Jake) . Decker and his partner Marge Dunn are shocked that such a heinous crime could take place at a Yeshiva, Jewtown as the police refer to it. As the novel unfolds and murder comes into play Rina and Peter are drawn to each other. As one would expect their relationship is frowned upon because she's religious, frum, and Peter is considered an outsider. Peter's biological mother was a Jew; but was given up for adoption at birth. Through an adoption agency mix-up he was placed with Baptist parents. He grew up as a Baptist. Magnificent treatment and presentation of Orthodox Jewish lifestyles! Realistic struggles and wonderfully developed relationships along side of the police drama/mystery. Faye begins Peter and Rina's life story here with romance and tenderness while helping Peter to discover his roots and begin to touch his spiritual beliefs.
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am 14. August 1999
Det.Peter Decker takes the call when a wife is raped while walking home after her mikvah within the grounds of a yeshiva near Los Angeles. With his partner, Marge Dunne, Peter comes face-to-face with his birthright, a secluded devout sect, a worldly rabbi & the woman who will renew his faith in life in more ways than one.
I was fascinated by what I found in Faye Kellerman's The Ritual Bath. She has composed a fully-fleshed mystery complete with the sacred & profane. "Jewtown", so called by everyone outside of it, has a reputation for easy pickings by burglars & vandals. Its very seclusion, created to enhance the practice of their faith, makes the yeshiva an easy target.
It's been 35 years since I lived in a Wisconsin retreat where a thousand people of the same faith stayed for the summer; coming in waves every two weeks. It's been that long since my days took on that lovely religious rhythm of prayer & play, fasting & feasting, study & sports within the community body. Faye Kellerman's The Ritual Bath brought back fond familiars.
When I discovered that Peter Decker was adopted & it hadn't bothered him much up until then; when he has to question Rina Lazarus in the women's mikvah & is surprised by her good looks, powers of observations & her reluctance to be there alone with him; when he meets Rav Schulman, the Rosh Yeshiva, & they strike up a smoke & a cordial connection; when Peter & Rina struggle within themselves, curious about each other - she, a widow with young sons to raise & a religion to practice; he, divorced for years with a teenage daughter for the summer & no spiritual calling...I couldn't stop reading.
Then Rina is harrassed by a quartet of youths outside a supermarket & Peter's on call for that. Suddenly she's calling him from the mikvah where someone is trying to get at her through the locked door & windows. The newly hired & much liked security guard is nowhere to be seen.
By this time they both realize she has been the target all along & none seems to know why. By now Peter Decker's heart has become engaged &, if Rina could admit it, so has hers.
Faye Kellerman offers us a rich, evocative tale - yes it is set about a mean & dirty act by wilful & destructive people. Real life is like that, isn't it?
Very well done, I really liked this one! An unusual, absorbing, erudite read of mysteries within mysteries. Delicious!
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am 5. Mai 1999
I've read 3 of the Decker/Lazarus series. Hint #1: they should be read in the proper order (something I haven't done). This is the book, however, that makes me want to read on! I can understand why this was chosen to be a TV movie - it has all the right ingredients. What I've found fascinating is the voyeuristic peek into a culture that I knew very little about. As a non-religious person, I found myself with a deep respect for the Jewish community rather than wondering why anyone would be crazy enough to follow so many complex rules. Kellerman's writing shows strong character development (especially the deliberately slow flirtation between the two main characters) and good dialogue, resulting in the reader bonding with the characters. The plot, however, was rather quickly resolved (particularly the Foothills rapist), yet a wide variety of suspects kept the book interesting. The book was obviously planned as the first in a series, so it's expected that character development should prevail. With the other two books I've read, again, the Jewish culture and strength of family provide an interesting read. I also recommend Sanctuary, which discusses another topic I knew little about - diamond retailing.
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am 9. April 1997
I picked up this book because I have read several of her husband"s books. I really liked the book and was really interested in the Jewish community protrayed here. Being a spiritual person, I can understand the faith that Rina Lazarus compasses. The authors prose flows and is easy to read. Her book differs from her husband's in that he has lot of imagery and focusses a lot on setting. Ms. Kellerman main points are:Jewish family life and ritual and faith. I recommend this book highly and am currently reading Grievous Sin and just finished Santuary
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am 1. Dezember 1998
As a long-time fan of Jonathan Kellerman, I decided to try reading the books of his wife, the most talented Faye Kellerman. Ms. Kellerman shines on her own. She has managed to endear her characters to me and capture me with her suspense and mystery. Because I wanted to read all of her books in sequence, I ordered them all and did so.
"Ritual Bath" was a whole new world for me. I loved the fact that it exposed me to a culture that I had no knowledge of.
The characters of Peter Decker and Rina Lazarus gripped me, along with the story line of a world which was totally new to me.
By the end of this book, I was so hungry for another that I was glad that I had ordered all of Ms. Kellerman's books.
I am so glad that I decided to read "Ritual Bath", as it gave me another favorite author who I will eagerly await new offerings.
Both Jonathan Kellerman and Faye Kellerman have mastered the art of combining mystery, suspense, as well as the emotional attachment to their characters that cannot, in my opinion, be matched by any authors with continuting characters today. I, in fact, felt like I know them and love them.
I am currently on "Santuary" and eagrly await Ms. Kellerman's newest addition to this series, as by the time I catch up, I know I will be so wrapped up in her characters I will feel that I am as much a part of the family as Peter, Rina, all of their children and their respective families (biological, extended, adoptive, etc.).
Thank you Ms. Kellerman for your down to earth series.
I truly hope that you never tire of Peter Decker & Rina Lazarus. You have done someting for me that no other author with continuing characters has done - created a real affection within me for those characters.
Thank you, Ms. Kellerman, for your addition to my literary tastes.
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am 6. April 2015
I'll keep it short and spare you a synopsis. This is one of the very few books I've read over the past couple of years that I finished within only 2 days. Don't worry about the fact that this book was written and is set in 1980s, it really doesn't matter. It's fast paced, believable, with a bit of romance, which thankfully doesn't become corny. I love the things we learn about the Jewish faith, I love everything. Must go, because I'll be downloading Part 2 of this series. Thank you Mrs Kellerman, I'd never read any of your books before, and I'm really glad I discovered you.
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am 15. Januar 2012
I enjoyed reading this book ages after I read it the first time again. It's smart, it's intriguing, and the story about Peter and Rina is just plain fun tread about. The story has depth and manages to be entertaining and captivating at the very same time. It's not just about crime, and also not about romance , it's about beliefs, religion and human relationsships. I still think this very first book is the best of the Peter Decker / Rina Lazarus Series! A must for every fan and the best beginning for those who don't mind getting hooked onto the series ;)
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am 22. August 1999
Since I was given the entire Decker/Lazarus series as a gift this summer, I sure hope I get what I deserve, and it is heading in a positive direction after this book. I learned quite a bit about Judaism, and that is impressive since I am myself Methodist. Gee, Orthodox Jews sure live a strict life, but hey, that's what Moses wants. I am eagerly awaiting to open the pages of SACRED AND PROFANE really soon, and see if Rina is a big help in Peter's next big-time case! I'll tell AMAZON what I think about it as well.
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am 24. Juli 1997
Magnificent treatment and presentation of Orthodox Jewish lifestyles! Realistic struggles and wonderfully developed relationships along side of the police drama/mystery. Faye begins Peter and Rina's life story here with romance and tenderness while helping Peter to discover his roots and and begin to touch his spiritual beliefs. Highly recommended - read Faye's books in order to experience Rina and Peter's growing relationship
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am 1. September 1999
If you enjoy stories about people rather than just 'what happens' then you'll love these books where the characters just keeping better and better. The crime stories are, in their own right, superb but not the real focus. Faye Kellerman is her husband's superior as an author in every aspect.
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