I do not think that there can ever be enough books about anything and I say that knowing that some of them are going to be about Pilates.The more knowledge the better seems like a solid rule of thumb, even though I have watched enough science fiction films to accept that humanity’s unchecked pursuit of learning will end with robots taking over the world.-Sarah Vowell

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Prayers For the Dead by Faye Kellerman

In this tenth Lieutenant Peter Decker and Rina Lazarus Decker mystery, a famous surgeon and transplant doctor is found shot several times in the head and stabbed multiple times in the chest and left in his car behind a restaurant.  There are many sides to this man:  there's the benevolent doctor, the motorcycle riding weekend warrior, the devout Fundamentalist Christian, and the mostly absentee father to his family of six children.

This book does not lack for suspects.  Dr. Azor Sparks's three oldest children, triplets, with a set of twins, Luke, a reformed drug addict who cannot get his life together and asks his dad for a loan on the night of his death, Bram, a Catholic priest, which really ticked off his dad, who is also the "golden child" whom everyone looks to for support, and Paul, a stockbroker who is in massive amounts of debt and needs lots of money now.  Then there's Dana, whose Jewish husband will not convert and whose businesses are doing poorly and they have also asked her dad for money.  The last two children are Michael, a twenty-five-year-old med student, trying to get his dad's attention, and the baby, Maggie who is eighteen.  Their mother is a former pill addict, which is no wonder, seeing as how she had to raise six children all by herself and could not ask for help from her church.

There is also the doctors at the hospital.  Dr. Sparks had discovered a new drug for use with transplant patients for when they have had their surgery and must take immunosuppressors to help the body accept the new organ.  He worked with Dr. Reginald Decameron who had an argument with the doctor when he was last seen and was the go-between with the drug company and the FDA, Dr. Myron Berger, a man he had gone to school with and who was now working for him in this study and would now be taking over his patients, and Dr. Elizabeth Fulton.

To complicate matters, Rina knows Bram from when she was married to her first husband.  The two were best friends as he tried to teach Bram the Torah and other Jewish texts and then became an indispensable helpmate to Rina during the last year of her husband's life as he battled cancer.  She could not have made it through without him.  When Decker finds this out, he withdraws himself to a more supervisory position when evidence at another murder scene incriminates Bram, who refuses to speak at all, not even to ask for an attorney.

This book has so many twists and turns in it, but you never get lost.  Just when you think it is one person, another person seems to be a better candidate.  After all, his wife inherits his estate and retirement, while his children receive a million dollars each in inheritance money and the doctors could be sitting on a big pile of money if they play their cards right with the drug company.  I was not prepared for the ending.  It came as a complete and wicked surprise to me.  This is a great novel and one really worth reading.

Link to Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Prayers-Dead-Decker-Lazarus-Novels/dp/0062087878/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1479908745&sr=1-1&keywords=prayers+for+the+dead+by+faye+kellerman

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