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Street Dreams    by Faye Kellerman order for
Street Dreams
by Faye Kellerman
Order:  USA  Can
Warner, 2003 (2003)

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* * *   Reviewed by Hilary Williamson

Kellerman does her usual masterful job of weaving together different skeins of plot into an attractive tapestry, in this ongoing series about Peter Decker and Rina Lazarus, that has expanded to spotlight Peter's daughter, LAPD Officer Cindy Decker.

Street Dreams alternates between different points of view, mainly those of Peter and Cindy Decker. After Cindy rescues an abandoned newborn from a Dumpster, she tracks down the baby's mother in her spare time. At the hospital where the baby is taken, Cindy encounters a new love interest, handsome Israeli pediatric nurse Koby Bryant, who also happens to be an Ethiopian Jew (Rina is of course delighted). Their developing romance is interrupted by a hit-and-run and by an adrenaline-laced car chase with shots fired. Its progress is hindered by the baggage that each of them carries.

Though still independent and impulsive, Cindy is learning with her dad's help to become more of a team player. Her painstaking efforts bring her to the Fordham Communal Center for the Developmentally Disabled, and to the secrets of a vulnerable young woman named Sarah (rape and subsequent childbirth are only the beginning). It is nice to see Cindy and her father in a mentor/student relationship, in which Cindy succeeds in winning Loo's admiration, to her immense satisfaction. I also appreciate the credibility brought to the plot by details of police procedures and politics described.

Though not a major player in this episode, Rina quietly enlists Peter in her private investigation - that of her grandmother's murder in 1920s Munich. While their research does not bring quick closure, it does unearth some happy memories for Rina's mother, and brings mother and daughter closer. The Street Dreams of the title are a cop's nightmares, which have haunted Cindy since the horrors of a previous adventure. Therapy, Koby, and her father's support, finally put these bad dreams to rest.

The author does a remarkable job of character development, at the same time as telling an engaging story and making a few subtle points about the potential of personal bias to lead the law astray. Street Dreams is an excellent read.

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