Faye Kellerman is a marvelous writer, and I haven't given up on the Lazarus series. This, the 13th book, showed a lot more promise than the 12th book, "Stalker".
It was interesting to see where time has taken the relationship between Peter and Rina, but even better to watch Kellerman weave the complex relationship between son Jacob and his parents into the novel.
The premise, senseless vandalism and violence at the Deckers' temple, is a strong one. One of the perpetrators, Ernesto Golding, an affluent young man with strong signs of adolescent OCD (obsessive compulsive disorder) is caught, but does not give up his partners. This is where Kellerman departs from the firm foundation of the novel and stretches needlessly into several murders, sexual obsession and fraudulent SAT preparation. Had she stayed with the story of Ernesto and explored his relationship with his ancestors, parents and brother; perhaps had him struggle with other crimes based on his obsessions, we might have had a fine book.
Instead, she introduces the character of Ruby, and the story and plotline go downhill from there. The assignation of Ruby and Jake is truly a ridiculous plot contrivance.
Unlike other readers, the unraveling of the Judaic customs and beliefs that accompanies every Lazarus story, for me, is a welcome counterpoint to the police line. The learnings and fabric this setting gives to the series helps it stand apart from all the others.
Three stars based on an interesting plot setting and Kellerman's writing style...but no more. I've recently given up reading Jonathan Kellerman, because recent entries in his Alex Delaware psychologist series have been pale shadows of his former work. Hopefully, that will not be the case with Faye's Lazarus series; it appears the author simply has to put in as much effort and creativity in the conclusions of her books as she does in the premise.