I started reading Faye Kellerman's Peter Decker and Rina Lazarus series way back in 1986 when it first started. I haven't kept up with the last three or four books, so I thought I would pick up Gun Games, the 20th entry in this long running series.
Lieutenant Decker is petitioned by a distraught mother to investigate her son's death. It has been ruled a suicide, but she can't accept it. Decker agrees - and finds that her mother's instincts may be right. When another student at the same school also kills themself, a full scale investigation is launched.
Rina and Peter have taken in 15 yr. old Gabe as a foster child. He comes from a troubled background, but is having success as a talented pianist. He runs into a group of teens who are looking for trouble, but escapes unscathed - this time. Gabe also meets a family acquaintance of the Deckers - 14 yr. old Yasmine.
I have always enjoyed the personal interaction between Rina and Peter in this series. Their home life, learning of their Jewish faith, description of food, Rina's gentle nature and Peter's gruff competence. The supporting cops on Decker's team - Marge and Oliver are characters I've enjoyed following as well. Sadly, there is little of this in Gun Games. Rather we are forced to endure endless pages of texting between Gabe and Yasmine. Their undying love for each other. Promise? Poor Gabe's sexual frustration. Gabe's deflowering of Jasmine.Yeah, I know - I felt like I was in a (bad) YA novel.
I found myself skipping pages of italicized texting and moony phone calls to try and get back to Decker and his case - which ended up playing a sad second fiddle to Gabe and his libido. The police work seemed lackluster, only hitting some sort of action at the end, when a list of names and assignments is given (over and over again) in a ten page flurry.
A reference to a previous case involving New Mexico is introduced early in the book, ignored and brought back in the last few pages. It added nothing to the book except as a possible set up for book 21.
I was disappointed with Gun Games - Kellerman jumped the shark on this one. It just might be time for Decker to retire. Read an excerpt of Gun Games.