Cold Case by Faye Kellerman

Not long after I started reading this one, I started to have a sneaking suspicion that I’d read it before. It seemed familiar. While her husband Jonathan Kellerman’s Alex Delaware mysteries have been my preferred distraction, I remember also enjoying Faye’s Peter Decker and Rina Lazarus (-Decker) stories over the years – some years ago. I became certain I’d read it before, and I was right (!), when I predicted a plot point. Of course that could’ve had something to do with it being a standard reverse engineering of a crime to find the killer type book. I continued reading because I couldn’t remember whodunit and I missed Peter and Rina Decker, even Cindy (Peter’s daughter). It was like revisiting old friends. I do like these characters. It could also be that with everything going on, I warmed to the familiar comfort of a police procedural, dead bodies and all (you think I’m being macabre, think how many times you’ve unconsciously binged Law and Order, or even Criminal Minds…don’t act like it’s just me). Anyway, as with such narratives, I got to the end and realized it was, as they are, convoluted and anti-climatic. By the end, I didn’t really care whodunit and didn’t feel like I got a real why either. But really in a Peter and Rina Decker book, the cliches of crime, and some other cringey racial cliches I only really noticed this time, is, in an odd way, a backdrop to the relationships. This is partly why it felt off, Rina being so off to the side, mostly feeding her man and doing little else, for a Peter Decker-Rina Lazarus book. Maybe it’s always been like that (I don’t remember) but, if so, it was more noticeable to me this time. I’m more of a Cindy fan coming out of this one though. Like I would be interested in checking out a Cindy Decker mystery if they have them, bonus if it co-features her husband, barely seen here but prominent in the last Decker mystery I read before this one, the one where they met, I believe. Don’t quote me, that was years ago. Before this one, my most recent Faye Kellerman book was the historical mystery Straight into Darkness which (spoiler alert, I also described as “confounding anti-climatic”. Hmmm). This book ends with them (Peter and Rina and the whole fam) preparing to go on an Alaskan cruise – I wonder if there’s a Murder on the Orient Express style whodunit on that cruise which the Deckers and Kutiels (Cindy and her husband’s last name) could dig in to. That I’d read.

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