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Sacred and Profane (Peter Decker & Rina Lazarus Novels) Mass Market Paperback – 1999


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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback
  • Publisher: Avon (1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 038073267X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0380732678
  • Product Dimensions: 17.1 x 10.8 x 2.6 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 181 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #834,542 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
Much grittier than the first novel in the Peter Decker/Rina Lazarus series, this novel addresses personal depravity and personal spirituality, both of which actively concern the murders at the center of the novel, and the relationship between Decker and Lazarus. Taking place months after the events in 'The Ritual Bath', the opening of the novel finds Decker camping with Lazarus' two boys, one of whom stumbles upon two dead bodies. Reluctantly, Decker takes on the case, and what follows is depressing for him and for the reader: teenage prostitution, snuff films, and pyromania, just to name some of the elements. These subjects take a toll on Decker, and threaten both his relationship with Lazarus and his embrace of Judaism. As in the first novel, the characters are well-drawn and realistic; you feel for Decker and Lazarus, especially when Decker becomes self-destructive, hurting everyone around him. The multi-layered plot is much more complex and satisfying than 'The Ritual Bath', although the ending will not please romance fans. You'll be left wanting more...which is presumably where the next book will take you.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
Well, that's not quite accurate, but it's a great teaser for people to read this review.
I read the first book in this series a few years ago and then just sort of put it aside. After finishing this book I'm glad I came back to it.
The mystery angle is nothing special - you can buy quite a few books in the mystery section of any bookstore that are just as good. It's Ms Kellerman's integration of religious Jewish life with the rest of the plot that will draw you in.
In the first novel in this series the life of the Jewish community was integral to the plot - indeed, without that integration there would have been no plot. But you can't do the same thing for each entry in the series, and if this second entry is any indication, Ms Kellerman is going in the right direction. Of necessity she started exploring Peter Decker's and Rina Lazarus' backgrounds in the first book. Those backgrounds are not linked to the mystery in this novel, but they are even more fascinating than the details we learned about in the previous one.
Rabbi Schulman in particular is a great supporting character. He is a very educated man, and not at all pompous about his education - he just wants to help his community and Decker along on the right path.
The conclusion of this aspect of the novel was somewhat surprising but it does open the door for some interesting possibilities in the next book.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
"Sacred and Profane," the second novel in the series, opens with Decker camping in the foothills above Los Angles with Rina's sons, Sammy and Jake. Decker is thrown into a deadly case of murder when Rina's oldest son stumbles on two charred human skeletons. A forensic dentist determines that the victims were teenage girls. This rattles Decker and gets him emotionally involved in the case because he is the father of a sixteen year old daughter, living back east with his ex-wife. Detective Decker had two problems. He has to find the killers of two young women from the incredibly seamy world of L.A. porn. and crack dens of Hollywood Boulevard. Although Peter is "technically Jewish" because his birth Mother was a Jew he has to learn to follow Rina's faith or else lose her forever. He begins to take instruction with the rabbi of the Yeshiva. Projecting what will follow in future Decker/Lazarus novels one knows what he outcome will be. No unlike here first book, "The Ritual Bath," this book make very interesting reading.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
Although this book was better than the first one in the series, it still leaves a lot to be desired. In this book, Peter is camping with Rina's two boys when one of the boys comes across two skeletons out in the woods. This leads Peter on a journey into the world of prostitution and pornography in order to find out the identity of the two bodies and the motive behind their murders. The actual mystery part of the book is good, but the developing storyline between Peter and Rina is still quite flat. Although, in the book, their relationship is progressing forward (sometimes very slowly), and Peter is working toward converting to the Jewish faith, I don't think the author does a particularly good job of conveying the feelings that these two supposedly have for each other. This series has a lot of potential, but so far these first two books have left me disappointed.
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By Karen Potts on Jan. 16 2003
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Sacred and Profane is the second in the Rina Lazarus/Peter Decker Mystery Series. In this installment Peter is camping with Rina's sons when they discover human remains which have been burned. Peter begins an investigation to determine the identity of the remains and ends up in the profane world of porno film-makers. The word "sacred" in the title refers to Peter's study of Judaism which Rina requires of him if their relationship is to progress to marriage. Peter begins to chafe at the restrictions of Rina's Orthodox faith, which leads to a crisis in their relationship. Kellerman, as always, does a skillful job of weaving a murder mystery into the background of Peter and Rina's private life. This talented writer can always be depended on to provide a good read.
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