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Prayers for The Dead (Peter Decker/Rina Lazarus #9)

3.95  ·  Rating Details ·  4,220 Ratings  ·  97 Reviews
The brutal murder of Dr. Azor Sparks in an alley behind a restaurant is greeted with public outrage and a demand for swift, sure justice. But the investigation into the well-known surgeon's death is raising too many questions and providing too few answers for homicide detective Lieutenant Peter Decker.

Why, for example, would the family of a man so beloved respond to his sl
ebook, 544 pages
Published October 13th 2009 by William Morrow (first published 1980)
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Apr 28, 2016 Brina rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
In the ninth book of the Decker and Lazarus series we relive a painful part of Rina's past. Renowned heart surgeon Azor Sparks is found brutally murdered in an alleyway behind a fancy restaurant. Lieutenant Decker and his team of detectives are called upon to investigate. Upon hearing the news, Rina immediately reaches out to the Dr's son Bram, and we find they had a past. Because of his wife's involvement, Lieutenant Decker would like to bring the murderer to justice but is not sure he can cont ...more
Dec 01, 2007 Jennie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I had an English professor at Marshall University who brought a big box of books to class one day, told us all to pick one and write a paper about it. This is the one I ended up with.

I started reading it in the middle of class and literally didn't stop reading until about 10pm that night, when I was finished.

VERY good whodunit. The ending made me groan just a little bit, kind of lame, but all in all, an excellent way to spend an evening.
Jun 24, 2015 Jana rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book kept you on the edge of your feet from beginning to end... Loved it!
Laura Beth
Feb 19, 2017 Laura Beth rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery, 2017-read
The twists and turns of this mystery kept me guessing until the end. First you think the mystery is headed in one direction and then it takes a turn in another direction and then another twist at the end. I loved this one. Rina is back to playing a part in solving the mystery and Peter is learning how to be the lieutenant to the squad. I always love the bi-play between Peter and Rina.
Sherri F.
Audio & paperback: Ahh so glad to be back to my comfort zone...this is one of my favorite series ever and #8 (Justice) was a little disappointing for me, but this 9th installment, was a strong and wonderful comeback...and was made better that I had both the paperback and eAudio versions and it was pooring down rain yesterday & wasn't feeling so great to be out in it--not that I really needed much incentive or excuse to stay in and devour most of this book. Since I was disappointed that M ...more
Nov 16, 2012 Bonnie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Religious zealots, spoilers or the closed minded stop here and don’t bother with this book.

It is NOT meant to be ABOUT religion. Religious beliefs and personal religious struggles are the back drop for the mystery/story. If you have EVER had these personal struggles with family and friends on religious issues you will understand the backdrop of the book. IT IS HUMAN! It is not meant to categorize, preach or teach. It is simply a GREAT mystery.

Faye really gets the reader into the character's min
Jun 16, 2009 Darlene rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really enjoyed this entry in Kellerman's Peter Decker/Rina Lazerus series. The twists and turns of the story, how she interweaves the personal and professional lives of the detective and his family is very skillful. In this one she also manages to balance the intricacies of religion; the Deckers' Orthodox Judaism, the victim and his family's Fundamentalist Christianity and one of the victim's son's Catholicism without missing a beat. The complexities of the plot in this one centers on the comp ...more
J L's Bibliomania
Revisited the mid-point of the extensive Peter Decker/Rina Lazarus saga. Started as an audiobook, but the library's CDs skipped so much that I switched to print.

As with many authors, I like the middle of this long-running series best. The fledgling author kinks are behind us. We and the author have had time to become familar with the characters and develop shared experiences to serve as touchstones. Yet the series is still new enough to be fresh and not overwhelmed by the flashbacks to previous
Sep 22, 2011 Susan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
This was a really complex story that mixed several contentious aspects of American society: religion - Jewish, Catholic and Protestant, Big Pharma and drug research, homophobia and violence. I had long ago read the 1st book in this series which paired a very unlikely duo - an LA police lieutenant and an orthodox Jewish women. Well they married and had a daughter and continue together solving crimes. This was a very well plotted mystery, the pacing was good, and the characters were truly complex ...more
Jun 26, 2014 Margo rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Excellent read, interesting because wife Rina was more of a part of the main plot than she usually is, and also because it involved a lot of non Jewish religious practices. Some good twists near the end.
Dec 08, 2010 Dharma rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
Not totally sure what I think of this book. It's my first Kellerman. I felt there were serious reaches in some plot threads to make things work, dramatic, something.
Faye Kellerman, and her husband, Jonathan, are both super writers. I learn a lot from her series because the characters are orthodox jews. Good mysteries.
Julia Walker
May 07, 2014 Julia Walker rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Best one yet. Lots of plot twists, Catholic and Jewish, motorcycle gangs, heart transplants, and more.
Mar 02, 2014 Candace rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is an old of hers, but saw it at the library on CD. I love the way she weaves the police work and family life of the Deckers together. Reminded me of how well I like her books.
Aug 25, 2014 Tara rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I am not sure how Rina continues to get entangled in Peter's investigations, but it really does keep me coming back to read more!
Diane Sonntag
Jan 23, 2017 Diane Sonntag rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Not my favorite book of this author but it did keep me reading to the end and guessing who the guilty part was. Lots of twists and turns.

Dec 30, 2014 Alex rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"Prayers for the Dead" is book 9 of the Rina Lazarus/Peter Decker Jewish murder mysteries by Faye Kellerman. She continues with her good writing, interesting plots and Jewish characterization. I'm Jewish myself and while it's not necessary to be Jewish to enjoy her novels, it helps. The author no longer goes into deep explanations about Jewish law and Hebrew words as she did in the earlier books of the series.

The story: a famous surgeon is found brutally murdered and Lt. Peter Decker is called
Dripping in religious tones for all. What a wicked weave of what religion can do when you use it to hide who you really are. I believe the outburst from the mom regarding her son who chose the path of becoming a Catholic priest instead of being a fundamentalist spoke with a loud conviction. Christians alike believe in Jesus, but this mother and I'm sure it's a belief couldn't accept that her son would worship idols. Now I have never looked at the Catholic religion quite that way, I feel the Bibl ...more
Hadassah Holl
Good story line keeps you invested. Very dated in regard to LGBTQIA language and general knowledge HIV/AIDS transmission, which I found disconcerting. Otherwise, a pretty fast paced read that keeps you involved.
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Nov 05, 2009 Barbra rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
The ninth in the Decker/Lazarus series.

Back Cover Blurb:
Dr Azor Sparks is a genius - and his genius saves lives. A celebrated heart transplant surgeon, he's set to revolutionise his patients' survival chances. He's also a pillar of the local evangelical church and a committed family man. So who could want to murder him in a dirty restaurant backyard? The answer, Lieutenant Peter Decker soon concludes, is a lot of people.
Sparks, he discovers, was obsessive, about his career, his church, his priva
Kelly ...
I've seen poor reviews of books in this series from mystery fans who want more edge. This is not a John Sandford series where the crimes are so gruesome you are afraid to sleep at night. It isn't a Patricia Cornwall story that takes a thousand turns through the course of finding the perpetrator of the crime. But if you like stories that draw upon the characters to move the plot, then Ms Kellerman's series is the top of the heap. You will be provoked by their home lives and you will grow to love ...more
May 27, 2016 Ed rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
#9 in the Peter Decker / Rina Lazarus mystery series.

Peter Decker / Rina Lazarus mystery - L.A. cop Pete Decker is called to the scene of a grisly crime where the mutilated body of renowned heart surgeon Azor Sparks has been found. The nonsmoking, churchgoing, family-man doctor, it turns out, wasn't nearly as perfect as he would have had his adoring public believe. He had plenty of enemies, even among his own family members. The case gets personal when Decker finds, to his dismay, that his own w
Oct 26, 2015 Sherree rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Although I haven't read every book in this series, I was glad I read the first one so I knew something about the premise behind half this story. I always enjoy the fast-paced nature of these books and read through it pretty quickly since I skip over detailed descriptions of faces and clothing. The books are labeled as Decker/Lazarus, but it seems like quite a coincidence that Rina becomes at least tangentially involved in every case. Except for one detail, I was expecting the ending, but I still ...more
Pretty good, mediocre read about the red hairded Jewish Peter decitive married to ultra conservative Jewess Rina who is an amazing looker even though she covers her head and doesn't wear make up, but man, does she cook. Some nice detail about FDA trials and drug companies deceit, also juxtaposing of Catholic priest knowledge of Hebrew and Rina's. And the conservative Jewish rituals are always interesing. A pretty good read.
May 31, 2015 Simone rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: series, 2016
When you find a series you like, after a while a new installment feels like catching up with old friends. I always want to know what Peter and Rina are up to and I think I would enjoy a whole book with just a development in their story.

Having said that, I did not care for this episode. It was so incredibly dated, and I think was trying to be shocking with no substance - therefore was just salacious instead of suspenseful.
Jul 06, 2014 Rosemarie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I am a lover of who-dunnit stories that keep me guessing to the end, and this book did not disappoint. I was quite surprised by the revelation of the actual murderer, yet all the little details woven through the plot fell together with that revelation. Another well told story in the Peter Decker series.
Rose Thomson
While I truly enjoy the writing style of the author I found this book to be the slowest read if all her novels. I believe that there could have been more back story about Bram and Rina's relationship to allow the reader to become more involved with the loss of Dr Sparks and the investigation into his family.
Marilyn Bates
Mar 08, 2014 Marilyn Bates rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Almost finished. It's been a slow read for me, not a fast-moving story. This is complicated in many ways and combines religious issues with gay issues and socio-economic and family values all in one big ball . It is difficult to unravel at times. All in all, I think it is worth the time. finished this book on 3/28-a surprising ending but sad that a mother felt she had to kill her own son.
Michael Norwitz
A convoluted story which deals with some interesting topics concerning religion and medical research, but ultimately I failed to connect with the characters (granted, this is not the first book in the series, so there may be important background I've missed), and the twist at the end failed to enthrall.
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Faye Kellerman was born in St. Louis, Missouri and grew up in Sherman Oaks, California. She earned a BA in mathematics and a doctorate in dentistry at UCLA., and conducted research in oral biology. Kellerman's groundbreaking first novel, THE RITUAL BATH, was published in 1986 to wide critical and commercial acclaim. The winner of the Macavity Award for the Best First Novel from the Mystery Readers ...more
More about Faye Kellerman...

Other Books in the Series

Peter Decker/Rina Lazarus (1 - 10 of 24 books)
  • The Ritual Bath (Peter Decker/Rina Lazarus, #1)
  • Sacred and Profane (Peter Decker/Rina Lazarus, #2)
  • Milk and Honey (Peter Decker/Rina Lazarus, #3)
  • Day of Atonement (Peter Decker/Rina Lazarus, #4)
  • False Prophet (Peter Decker/Rina Lazarus, #5)
  • Grievous Sin (Peter Decker/Rina Lazarus, #6)
  • Sanctuary (Peter Decker/Rina Lazarus, #7)
  • Justice (Peter Decker/Rina Lazarus, #8)
  • Serpent's Tooth (Peter Decker/Rina Lazarus, #10)
  • Jupiter's Bones (Peter Decker/Rina Lazarus #11)

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