Picks and Pans Review: Stalker

updated 08/28/2000 AT 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 08/28/2000 AT 01:00 AM EDT

by Faye Kellerman

Cindy Decker has some pretty big shoes to fill. For starters, the LAPD rookie's father is Peter Decker, an illustrious lieutenant with the department. On top of that, the senior Decker, along with Cindy's stepmother, Rina Lazarus, starred in several of Kellerman's popular crime novels. Though you might not want to share a squad car with Cindy, the headstrong know-it-all does make for an engaging heroine as she tries to track down the menacing person who appears to shadow her every move. But while Kellerman seems devoted to grooming the prickly Ivy Leaguer for her central role, the author has shortchanged her tale of some essentials. The plot's reliance on coincidence and its school of red herrings will likely leave readers feeling cheated. And the interminable yammering among Cindy and company makes one wish for Joseph Wambaugh to come out of retirement. Or even Faye Kellerman, on a better day. (Morrow, $25)

Bottom Line: Likable sleuth makes less-than-arresting debut

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