Title: The Beast
Author: Faye Kellerman
Published by: Harper Collins/ William Morrow
Publication Date: August 6, 2013
From the publisher—
Over his years with the LAPD, Peter Decker has handled a number of tough cases and strange killers. Few of his previous assignments compare to his latest case—the most bizarre of his storied career.
When Hobart Penny is found dead in his apartment, the cops think that his pet cat—an adult female tiger—attacked the reclusive elderly billionaire. But it soon becomes clear that the beast that killed the eccentric inventor is all too human. Digging into the victim’s life, Decker and his colleagues, Detectives Marge Dunn and Scott Oliver, discover that Penny was an exceptionally peculiar man with exotic tastes, including kinky sex with call girls.
Following a trail of clues that leads from a wildlife sanctuary in the San Bernardino Mountains to the wild nightlife of Las Vegas, the LAPD detectives are left juggling too many suspects and too few answers. To break open a case involving the two most primal instincts—sex and murder—Decker wrestles with a difficult choice: turning to a man with expert knowledge of both—Chris Donatti, the dangerous man who also happens to be the father of Decker’s foster son Gabriel Whitman, a boy not without his own problems.
As their work and intimate worlds collide, Decker and his wife, Rina, find themselves facing tough questions. It just might be that family crises and work-related responsibilities prove too much for Decker’s career. A confluence of ordeals can stress even the most intact of families. And when all these shocking truths comes out, exactly how well will Decker and Rina cope as well as survive?
Reading the newest entry in a long-running series offers a certain amount of comfort, of familiarity and a sense of getting together with old friends, and The Beast by Faye Kellerman is no exception. It’s hard to believe that this is the 21st title in the series and that we fans have been reading about Peter Decker and Rina Lazarus for 27 years. I’ve missed a few here and there and it was a great pleasure for me to see Peter and Rina again, as well as Marge and Oliver, Peter’s police colleagues.
Our detectives are involved in a highly unusual case this time, involving crimes and a perpetrator most of us would not foresee. A tiger is involved and I really enjoyed learning more about wildlife sanctuaries that care for the amimals that should be under our protection. Big cats, bears and other large wildlife that have been ripped from their natural environment deserve special treatment but it all comes at a high price. I’m currently a small contributor to a few wildlife organizations but have not donated to any sanctuaries and Ms. Kellerman has convinced me that I should look into doing so. I don’t know if the author had this in mind for her readers but it’s certainly a worthy side effect.
A few things were irritating but in a pretty minor way. I really got tired of reading about what everybody was wearing but I doubt if this is a new affectation and I don’t remember it from past books so I suspect it won’t stick in my mind very long. Another thing was the side story involving Gabe’s love life—it added nothing to the overall story or even to my understanding of Peter and Rina so I could have done without it. I also wondered momentarily about Hobart Penny’s wealth—he’s referred to as a billionaire in one place and, in another as being worth half a billion but nowhere near that amount of money is distributed in his will so just how rich was he? Maybe I missed an explanation somewhere along the way but, when you get right down to it, a lot of money is a lot of money, isn’t it?
Longtime fans of Peter and his family and colleagues may be somewhat alarmed by some potential future changes that are more than hinted at in The Beast but we’ll have to wait for the next book to find out what’s really in store. In the meantime, Ms. Kellerman has given us a very entertaining police investigation with plenty of suspects and theories to tide us over.
Reviewed by Lelia Taylor, August 2013.
About the Author
To enter the drawing to win an ebook copy of The Beast
by Faye Kellerman, leave a comment below. The winning name
will be drawn on the evening of Thursday, August 8th and the prize
will be sent out at the end of the tour.
Follow the tour here: