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Stone Kiss    by Faye Kellerman order for
Stone Kiss
by Faye Kellerman
Order:  USA  Can
Warner, 2003 (2002)
Hardcover, Paperback, Audio, CD, e-Book

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* *   Reviewed by Wesley Williamson

I listened to an abridged Time Warner Audio Book version of Stone Kiss, read by Dennis Boutsikaris. Though it is billed as a Peter Decker / Rina Lazarus novel, Rina hardly appears. However other old friends, such as Chris and Terry do, which makes up for Rina's limited involvement.

The story begins when Conservative Rabbi Jonathan Levine calls from New York to his half-brother, Peter Decker, now a police lieutenant in Los Angeles. Jonathan's Orthodox brother-in-law Ephraim Lieber has been murdered, and his naked body found in a shabby hotel room. His fifteen year old niece Shaynda, who may have witnessed the killing, has vanished. Jonathan pleads with Peter to come to New York and help to find her.

Peter reluctantly agrees to return to the city he has not seen for ten years and his forebodings are justified when he is opposed by the NYPD, the Orthodox congregation, and even by Shaynda's parents. Complications abound, even after Peter finds Shaynda in the apartment of a criminal, but he persists, and eventually solves the puzzles.

As usual, Kellerman's greatest strength is in the depth of her characters - black, white, and sometimes all the various shades of grey. Dennis Boutsikaris reads the story with feeling, though he is not completely successful in the extremely difficult task of depicting all these varied individuals.

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