Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Gun Games - Faye Kellerman

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.


Anonymous said...

I've been on the fence about continuing with this series. I'll have to look back see where I left off. It was one of the ones that kind of fell by the wayside as more and more series captured my interest. I've kind of stopped reading Jonathan Kellerman's series as well. After 20, it may indeed be time. Tough to continue with absorbing stories after that many. The early ones were so very good. Thanks for your thoughts.

Luanne said...

Kay - I found the same thing! I read Jonathan Kellerman's last one and thought 'this is the last of the series for me.' Alex and Milo had lost their spark. ( His 27th comes out this year. I hadn't read Faye in a long time either and thought I would see what was going on, but this was the end of the line for me too.

Marce said...

I want to try FayeK this year. I picked this one up in the airport just this week but decided to go for an older one with great reviews, glad I didn't get it.

Luanne said...

Marce - the old ones are really good - I'm glad you're starting there.

bermudaonion said...

I've never read this author. Sorry this one didn't live up to the rest of the series.

Anonymous said...

I am a retired LEO but not too critical with gaffes committed by novelists writing about police and procedures.I did find three that were stunning.One character has a 16mm semi-auto for protection.There is no such item.That would be about .64 cal.Twice the size of a normal pistol projectile.The discussion over a school locker search would fall under the 4th not the 1st amendment as stated in the book.They quibble over probable cause.I simplify but school officials can search lockers at any time.There is no expectation of privacy.Lastly a .32 cal Glock is mentioned,there is no such thing.A Glock 32 is a model and is chambered in .357 cal.I would have thought a novel entitled "Gun Games" would have had an experienced firearms advisor.