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Blood Games (Peter Decker/Rina Lazarus #20)

3.85  ·  Rating Details ·  4,753 Ratings  ·  476 Reviews
'Blood Games' is the latest novel in the Peter Decker and Rina Lazarus series from New York Times best-selling author Faye Kellerman.
Paperback, UK/Australia edition, 375 pages
Published 2011 by HarperCollins Publishers
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Community Reviews

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Susan Johnson
When I pick up a Decker/Lazarus book, I expect to find them to be the subject of it. They were barely in this one. First of all, Pete and Rina really took a back seat in this one and the story suffered for it. Second of all, I have about zero interest in reading about a 14 year old girl and a 15 year old boy's love affair. Frankly, some of the scenes were soft core porn and I was very uncomfortable. There is nothing appealing about a boy having sex with a girl that he's unsure of whether she's b ...more
Jan 14, 2012 Anne rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
The major plot lines were definitely standard Faye Kellerman; they could have merited four stars had her writing on this one not been so lackluster. I felt like a quarter of the book was text conversations, and a third was teenage sex. I'll be honest; none of the Donetti-centered books are my favorites in the series. But this time, Rina's gentle wit was almost absent, Decker seemed to have lost his spark, and the squadroom wit and fun was noticeably absent. There was hardly even much food talk. ...more
Jul 07, 2012 Rachel rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I have no interest in teen age romance. If I wanted teen romance I would read Twilight. I sure as hell have no interest in a 15 year old's boners nor do I have interest in a 14 year old girl who is so insecure she will put out for no reason even though she is obviously not enjoying it. The poor girl seems to have no sense of self. Can I jerk you off? What about asking him to reciprocate? They do tell girls about orgasms in sex ed. I expected more from a woman who created Rina Lazarus and Cindy D ...more
Dec 21, 2012 Siobhan rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I was frankly disapinted in this novel and decided I had to write about the Lazarus/

This may the worst of her latest novels yet! If I want to read teenage angst and prblems- and I really do not tp be honest. When I was younger and
that age, sure. However, this narrative does NOTHING for people who have followed the Lazarus/Decker family and now its additional teens. What I DO want to know
is how Hannah is and where she is. Yes, I KNOW she is at university and seems to be the goody two shoes she a
Luanne Ollivier

I started reading Faye Kellerman's Peter Decker and Rina Lazarus series way back in 1986 when it first started. I haven't kept up with the last three or four books, so I thought I would pick up Gun Games, the 20th entry in this long running series.

Lieutenant Decker is petitioned by a distraught mother to investigate her son's death. It has been ruled a suicide, but she can't accept it. Decker agrees - and finds that her mother's instincts may be right. When another student at the same school als
Jan 31, 2012 Theresa rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-2012
I liked this enough to finish it, and the basic concept was fine, and held my attention. I have two main issues with the book-- okay, three. The first is that two plot lines, a police inquiry and a personal one, combine into one. Not sure how probable that is, and it was a little too tidy for me. Secondly, I never really got how one of the main characters, a fifteen-year-old, came to be in the home of a police officer in an unofficial fostering capacity, when his father is a "bad guy." (Maybe th ...more
Dec 10, 2011 Michelle rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is one of my favorite detective series, and Faye Kellerman did not disappoint with this book. In the last book she brought in the new character Gabe, and she did a great job developing him in this installment. It is a fast-paced, but also personal story. I am anticipating the next book to see what she has in store for her newest characters, and the old ones too!
Helen McKenna
May 02, 2012 Helen McKenna rated it liked it
Having been a fan of the Peter Decker series since the very first book, there have been some titles I have enjoyed more than others. While this was still a good read and I had no trouble finishing it, I wouldn't say it was one of my favourites. There are two reasons for that - one is that Decker was hardly in the story. I enjoy reading about his skill as a detective, so it's really disappointing when he had almost nothing to do with the investigation. Secondly there is almost nothing about his f ...more
Laura de Leon
Jan 05, 2012 Laura de Leon rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I've been a fan of this series for many, many years. As sometimes happens with long-running series, I've lost track of it a bit. When I started reading this book, I was surprised at all that has happened since I last visited Peter Decker, Rina Lazarus and family. I checked and saw that I've missed two books, which I need to go back and fill in.

I'm impressed at how Faye Kellerman keeps shifting the focus of the series to keep it fresh,while still remaining true to the characters. There's only so
Oct 19, 2012 Dlora rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I like Fay Kellerman's writing and her creation of Rina and Peter Decker. In this next installment of the series, the Decker's have invited Gabe, a 15-year-old piano prodigy, to live with them because his father is a sociopath and his mother has disappeared (see Hangman for that story.) When a teenager in the community commits suicide, Lieutenant Decker is guilt-tripped into checking into it by the mother who can't believe her son would do that. And so we are introduced into the world of high sc ...more
Elana Centor
May 24, 2012 Elana Centor rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Huge disappointment. This book focuses on Gabe Whitman, the teenager who isliving with the Deckers. Gabe's father is Chris Donatti, a mafia guy, and a recurring character in this series. Much of the book is about the love story between Gabe and Yasmine, a young Persian Jewish girl. They are brought together by their love of music.

The mystery resolves around two teen suicides at a prestigious private high school. Besides having to suffer through pages of "text billet doux" between Gabe and Yasmi
May 28, 2012 Skip rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: crime-detective
Not sure what happened to my review of Gun Games. I am disapointed that Faye Kellerman has chosen to make Gabe Whitman the new focal point of her books as Peter Decker and Rina Lazarus are wonderful characters, and their family life and relationship are what has endeared her to her fans. In this story, Gabe and a Persian girlfriend are bullied by a group of popular kids from their prestigious school and Peter has to solve the crime.
Laura Beth
Apr 20, 2017 Laura Beth rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery, 2017-read
This one was really great. Young love, teenage gangs, father/son relationships are explored in Faye Kellerman's wonderful style. I love Chris Donatti as a character as he is so wonderfully messed up with little to redeem him except his own brand of loyalty. I love how he and Gabe are finally begining to have some sort of relationship. I love the tension I felt when reading this wondering how Gabe is going to turn out as an adult, is he going to be like Chris and be dysfunctional or be normal. Th ...more
Hadn't read Faye Kellerman for awhile but she didn't disappoint and I enjoyed this story.
Dec 18, 2011 Crystal rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Gun Games is my first Faye Kellerman novel. I have meant to read her for years. I have read her husband and have even read her son, but for some reason haven't read her. I use to have this thing where I had to start the series from the beginning, but I have finally gotten over that. Yes you do miss character growth and some background, but I've found a lot of these suspense series, each book stands on it's own and that's how I feel about Gun Games. It's the 20th novel in the Rina and Peter Decke ...more
Krista (CubicleBlindness Reviews)
This story is evenly divided between the perspectives of Lieutenant Decker and fifteen year old Gabe, both personalities come off as pretty relaxed and easy going, until a problem hits, then they are on their toes and fast thinkers. I enjoyed the fact that even at the age of fifteen, Gabe was overall a very intelligent boy, but like most teenage boys the thought of sex drives most of his storyline. I believe that the relationship that slowly builds between Yasmine (14) and Gabe (15) was incredib ...more
May 23, 2016 Els rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Alweer de eerste keer dat ik een boek lees van deze overbekende auteur. Het is het 20ste deel met het echtpaar Deckers in de hoofdrol en alhoewel dat ik ergens las dat je naadloos mee kunt als je de rest niet gelezen had, vind ik toch niet helemaal kloppen. Twee delen van het verhaal hadden hun oorsprong in één of meer vorige boeken en dan is het niet simpel om te volgen, zeker als er niets of heel weinig wordt meegeven over het verleden. En natuurlijk zit je ook met het feit dat dit boek niet h ...more
Mar 12, 2012 Elaine rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery-series
This was the worst book by Faye Kellerman. Ever. To say I was disappointed is an understatement. Is the book about Decker and Rina anymore or really about Gabriel Whitman? You know a series has run its course when it starts relying on superfluous characters to flesh out a story. This was below Kellerman's talents as an author and to see this plot developed in a book in conjunction with characters I have loved since I was in college is tasteless and demeaning to fans of the series and to Ms. Kell ...more
Mar 18, 2013 Wenchy rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
In South Africa, this book is published under the name "Blood Games" - it should come with a warning label.

Frankly this is the worse book from Faye Kellerman I have ever read. I felt compelled to finish it as I have always loved the author.

The relationship between Gabe and Yasmine started off rather sweet but quickly turned very un Faye Kellerman like. I am a Mom of many teenagers and am by no stretch a woman who is close minded when it comes to sexual intimacy. I am also not naive in thinking m
Mizzio Batista
Jul 06, 2016 Mizzio Batista rated it it was ok
This is two different stories in one book. One is a young adult drama that make you roll your eyes at how stupid 14-year-old kids are, and one is a crime novel that had a lot of potential. They have little to nothing in common!

If each of these stories were told in two separate books, I might have rated each one much higher. But, all you get is a chapter from each tale, really messing up the experience. One minute you deep in a crime, the next you dealing with a Romeo-and-Juliet type romance.....
Feb 25, 2012 Jodi rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2012-read
I couldn't wait to read this book. Ever since Chris Donatti walked back into this series, he's had such a magnetic hold on Peter and Rina and his son, musical prodigy Gabe, has been no different. Gabe becomes a major player in this book for two reasons. While he is not a gangster like his father, his father taught him how to keep his head and when he's confronted by gangbanger wannabes with guns in Starbucks, Gabe not only keeps his head but earns their respect. He immediately switches coffee sh ...more
Feb 07, 2013 7nikolas rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Gun Games by Faye Kellerman is a book centered around Gabe Whitman, Gabe lives with Detective Decker and his wife Rina. They took him under there wing after his mother fled to india and his father not thinking it was best for him to stay with him, left Gabe with the Deckers. From this point the story takes a split. One side of the story is about Detective Whitman's cause involving a suicide at a local prep school, Bell and Wakefield. The ther side of the story involves Gabe and a girl he meets a ...more
Jan 30, 2012 Bill rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Faye Kellerman is a wonderful author who usually has me eating out of her hand from the first page. I usually find myself enjoying learning a bit of Judaic law that she skillfully weaves in with the mystery/suspense themes that are at the heart of her Decker and Lazarus novels. In Gun Games she takes on teen bullying at an elite private school in LA, along with the expected drugs, sex, and guns. Two apparent teen suicides, a relationship between a 15 year-old boy--staying with Peter Decker and R ...more
Aug 04, 2012 Joan rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: wholeheartedly!
I have read almost all of the Decker/Lazarus mysteries and I have loved them. This book was no exception. Given that I know the background of the Decker family, the addition of Chris was not new for me. The mystery of the apparent suicide of a teenage boy, his mother's skepticism, and the connection to the private school (and its teachers and students) he attended is detailed with good twists and a great outcome--as others have said, the last part of the book is fantastic.
What did surprise me is
Feb 10, 2012 Deb rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2012-books-read
It's been a while since I've read one of Faye Kellerman's books. I have enjoyed the Lazarus/Decker series over the years. In this installment Rina and Peter take second place to the main character, Gabriel Whitman, son of mobster Chris Donatti. Gabe is living with the Deckers temporarily. He's 15, a gifted pianist, and independent. He falls in love with Yasmine, a Jewish Persian girl, and the two of them sneak behind all the adults' backs to meet. Yasmine attends a posh prep school where two tee ...more
Elaine Bergstrom
Apr 19, 2014 Elaine Bergstrom rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Authors can either rejoice or tear their hair when one of the marginal characters in their series takes on a life of his own. So it was with Chris Donnetti, and later son Gabe, in the Decker/Lazarus novels. Who can't relate to a charismatic, brilliantly gifted psychopathic hit man who relates to his son via their shared talent for classical music? Hannibal would adore these two. As do I, so it was good to see them back in action in "Gun Games" -- a novel that takes the problems of star-crossed t ...more
Kaje Harper
Apr 17, 2012 Kaje Harper rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I've enjoyed the whole series with Lieutenant Peter Decker - he's a real person going through a vivid and believable life. He faces police cases that don't always work out neatly, family members who have their own personalities and problems, colleagues who are interesting. I was happy to see his foster son Gabe featured in this one; I fell in love with the young piano prodigy in the last book and hoped we would see more of how his life worked out. What a great teenager. This series should be rea ...more
Apr 19, 2015 Chris rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Actually, 3.5. Reason? About 50% of the story is about Decker's 15-year-old foster son, piano prodigy Gabe Whitman, who meets a shy 14-year old LA/Persian Jewish girl, falling, apparently and mutually, head-over-heels for each other. He's a horny, 15-year old boy, but she's been raised as an Orthodox Jew in a very strict home, and the sex talk...then scenes...are more graphic and in-your-face than what I remember of previous books in this series. I'm not a prude (at all!), but she was so young a ...more
Jan 27, 2012 Wendy rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I enjoyed the older Faye Kellerman books, so I was looking forward to reading her latest starring Peter Decker and Rina Lazarus. Unfortunately they were side characters and the book focused heavily on a teenage boy, Gabe, who is living in their home. He has a forbidden love affair with a Persian teenage girl and their story runs parallel to Decker trying to solve cases of puzzling teenage suicides. I read more about the inner thoughts of teenage boys and their sex lives than I EVER wanted to kno ...more
Aug 11, 2012 Phyl rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I love the Peter Decker/Rina Lazarus series. I have been reading them since the beginning. For the last while i was abit "lost" and not as into the books but this book brought me right back to Faye Kellerman and this series. She is a wonderful mystery story teller.
Highly recommend but to get to know the characters - i really suggest going right to the beginning and learning about how Peter and Rina came together - a love story wrapped into excellent mystery/thrillers.

Well worth the reading!
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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)
  • Prayers for the Dead (Peter Decker/Rina Lazarus, #9)
  • Serpent's Tooth (Peter Decker/Rina Lazarus, #10)

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