Picks and Pans Review: Stone Kiss
In Kellerman's 14th Peter Decker novel, the vacationing L.A. detective takes a busman's holiday, plunging knee-deep into a Big Apple double whacking. One victim is the brother-in-law of Decker's half brother, an Orthodox rabbi. The murky investigation heads directly into the kinky netherworld of a suspect—a psychotic Mafia soldier who is an old adversary of Decker's and makes pit stops at porno photo shoots when he's not chatting about child molestation and incest. As the rabbi becomes evasive, though, Decker starts to wonder if the hood is the only guy around he can trust.
Kellerman's descriptions of the world of Orthodox Jews (she glosses terms as she goes) are involving, as always, and she slings the testosterone-filled verbiage with the best of her male counterparts. Ultimately, though, the various blood ties are so confusing that one yearns for a diagram of a family tree, and most characters are left searching for a voice—save for the Latina distinguished, nauseatingly, by her habit of saying "berry" instead of "very" countless times in her sole appearance. And since when does a vacationing cop spread wads of $20 and $100 bills on a case he's not even assigned? (Warner, $25.95)
Bottom Line: Warmed-over kosher meal