The Ritual Bath (Peter Decker/Rina Lazarus, #1)
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating

The Ritual Bath (Peter Decker and Rina Lazarus #1)

3.9 of 5 stars 3.90  ·  rating details  ·  7,523 ratings  ·  389 reviews
Someone declares unholy war on the holiest of places when the quiet, ordered world of a yeshiva in the California hills is shattered by an unspeakable crime: a woman is brutally raped as she returns from the mikvah, the bathhouse where women perform their cleansing ritual.
Detective Peter Decker of the LAPD has never heard anything like it, and he's relieved to find Rina La...more
Paperback, 277 pages
Published April 19th 1993 by Fawcett Books (first published May 1986)
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.
This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
aPriL meows 'n growls TLDR
What to do.....

For me, an atheist, I am offended by the obvious purposeful crippling of being human by the rituals of ANY religion. Since the beautiful widow and mother of two boys Rina Lazarus, love interest of the detective Peter Decker, is an Orthodox Jew, I am grinding my teeth even while I am admiring this interesting beach read of a novel.

This is book one - how they meet, so I knew I had to start here. However, I'm uncertain about continuing. Usually I give a series at least three books re...more
Matt Horowitz
I had gotten this book (and #2) when a very old copy was being thrown out at the temple library I worked at and it promptly sat on my shelf for two or three years. I can't finish one book without immediately starting another (even if it's only the first couple of pages) and I found myself (late) one night with a finished book and no idea what to read next. So I picked this up and ended up reading almost half of it before going to bed.
The next day and despite working at a bookstore I drove around...more
Tasha Turner
One of her better books. Trying to describe orthodox Jewish concepts to non-Jews is always hard. Ms Kellerman does fairly well with this book.
Cyberpope
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Kinga
The Ritual Bath is usually categorized as a mystery novel (it even won a prestigious award in this field, the Macavity Award for Best First Mystery Novel in 1987), but is rather a contemporary romance novel in a whodunit environment. (And I am telling so without ever reading a so called main stream 'romance' work of any kind...)

On her way home from a ritual bathhouse ('mikvah') a young woman is brutally raped in a small, strict Orthodox Jew community, near Los Angeles. One of her friends, recent...more
Kim
My first Faye Kellerman read, another author recommended to me. I've read several of her husband's - Jonathan Kellerman - books and decided it was time to try her's.

This is the first book in the Peter Decker detective series by Faye Kellerman. Definitely enjoyed it and will read the others as I find them. I liked that she added a little about the Jewish traditions of a yeshiva. I enjoy learning about other religions and cultures. Was a mover and kept my interest. I pictured David Caruso as Deck...more
Krisi Keley
Closer to a 3.5, but a difficult one for me to rate as far as "enjoyment" because of some of the subject matter - reading about rape and extreme prejudice is difficult to "enjoy" as such. An interesting crime mystery with well-developed characters though, and I did really enjoy learning more about Torah Judaism and other varying Orthodox Jewish views and traditions. I also thought the author did an excellent job of portraying some of the difficulties of trying to live one's faith in a culture th...more
Denise
Who doesn’t like a mysterious crime? Especially one filled with intrigue, suspense and served up with a little romance on the side. That is what “The Ritual Bath” by Faye Kellerman has to offer. This is the first book of the Decker/Lazarus series. The story takes place in a yeshiva community in the California hills in Los Angeles. The people of this small, remote community keep to themselves; however their peace is disturbed by a violent rape. Detective Decker is sent to solve this case. While d...more
Elizabeth
This book had a lot of promise in the beginning and I felt connected, drawn to, and cared about the main characters. One of the reasons I'm feeling much disappointment and sadness is because the author was adept at getting me at least emotionally involved with her characters. I was also excited about reading this book for personal reasons. The novel explores and does a good job of explaining many unknowns about one of the many types of Judaism. The author did this in an interesting and engaging...more
Sharon
I'm very torn about how to rate and review The Ritual Bath. What usually pushes me to rate a book is how well it is written.

In that respect, I will go with 4-stars, because this book is very well written. What I find unusual is the amount of Orthodox Jewish life represented in what I thought would be a mainstream book. To someone unfamiliar with Orthodox Judaism, that may be a huge turn off.

A portion of the story hit me on a personal level, in an irritating way - that included an "all too conven...more
Simone
Having started reading the Peter Decker series at book 5, I was really interested to make my way back to book one and find out how it all began. Although quite short by comparison to the further titles in the series, this is a great book. It really sets the scene for what it ultimately a love story between the cynical homicide detective (Peter) and the sweet (much younger) Jewish widow (Rina). Yet it is also a gripping page turner, as Rina is stalked by a crazed rapist, who is terrorising the sm...more
Betelgeuze
Unfortunately i was not able to finish this book. It wasn't because the book was badly written, or that the plot was bad. It was because Rina is an extremely religious woman who indoctrinates her children. Having been subjected to religious indoctrination myself, especially in religious (indoctrination) school it brought back to many bad memories. I would not recommend this book to people who were also subjected to religious indoctrination. Other than that it is a good book and i woud recommend...more
Marcia
This is the first book in a mystery series starring LAPD Detective Peter Decker and his romantic interest, Orthodox Jewish widow Rina Lazarus. I absolutely loved this book. Peter and Rina are both well developed, as is the description of life in a yeshiva. The plot (involving rape and murder in a place where Rina and other women feel most safe) is disturbing, but the chemistry between Peter and Rina is light and natural in the most dark and unnatural of circumstances. Highly recommended, and I'm...more
Jabberwocky
This is kind of my review of the Entire Decker and Lazarus series, so just keep that in mind as I ramble.
I started off reading Faye's husband, Jonathan Kellerman's books, which are more focused on plot and story arc, where Faye's books focus more on character development. One of the things I absolutely love about this series is that focus on the development of Peter Decker and Rina Lazarus individually and as a couple does not in any way take away from the storyline. Her plots are always strong...more
Lesli
Good read! Only problem I had was all the Hebrew words. Would have liked a glossary instead of having to search Google or Wikipedia via my Nook app. For a book written in the eighties, it is surprising current...minus the "ghetto blaster" references and a few other iconic elements. Definitely someone I would read agian. Definitely a series I would continue with.
Ginger
This was another bookclub selection. I think my sister described it best when she said she could picture it as a made for tv movie. If you are into mysteries that are a quick read, you would enjoy this book.
Jess
Not quite the same as those crime novels that I have read. I like that the author included a lot of details on the personal life of the victims and the detectives. It added a tad of humanity into the cruelty and bloodiness in a crime story. I totally loved the chemistry between Rina and Peter, but I would be happier if Peter was described as better looking or muscular instead of a redhead undergoing a midlife crisis.

The story was okay. The killings were not very brutal and bloody. An easy read....more
J.W. Thompson
Faye writes as well or even better than her husband ---I love the Decker character series---- Kellerman has built this character and keeps him going.
Rosemarie
I bought this book on a Nook special, and I'm glad I did. It's the first in a very long series of detective novels with a definite Jewish theme. This book was written in the mid-1980s, and I giggled at what is now considered "old school" technology. The giggles aside, I enjoyed the plot. Until the end, Kellerman kept me guessing who the rapist and murderer was. There was also a romantic subplot that was fraught with religious prohibitions and impossibility. With my extremely busy schedule, I rea...more
Sharon
My favorite author by far.
Yui
Finished this last week but forgot to mark due to my hectic schedule.
It was actually good. The prose is intelligent and easy to read, most importantly. The mystery isn't half-assed. I was rooting for a different guy up until the big reveal and it's not even boring despite the many religious almost lectures. I love a good novel about 'the higher power' but Judaism is a too realistic and complicated to interest me but as I've said, it's not really boring. I've started in the second book but set i...more
Karen
I enjoy a good mystery and the title to this one led me to think that it would hold some information into the supernatural. I was disappointed to find that it did not touch on supernatural issues. However, because it is wrapped up in a tight-knit Jewish community (which I know very little about) I did enjoy the read. Since this is the first of a series of books, I was surprised that Kellerman did not spend more time explaining some of the cultural motifs, but she did give us enough information t...more
Bridgette Redman
Every so often, I am fortunate enough to stumble upon a series at its beginning. And since books in a series rarely improve as the series wears on, the first book is very often the best. It is there where the characters are still fresh and the author shows a high amount of creativity and originality.

Faye Kellerman has two claims to fame. The first (and most important) is her bestselling mystery series and the two extra-series novels (one a historical mystery and the other a mystical thriller) sh...more
Heather Bokon
I liked the basic story of this book; the characters were well developed, I thought Rina and Peter both were realistic as were their conflicts with their feelings for each other. The crimes being investigated were a little convoluted to me, but only a little. I don't want to say too much, but there were some coincidences that I found a little too coincidental

I wasn't a big fan of the changing POV, but that's a personal preference, not a flaw of the book. I prefer staying in the heads of the main...more
Kelly
I'm always happy when the first book in a series is good because then I'm excited to start reading the next book in the series. So on to the next one for sure.

I like Peter and Rina. Peter is not really so hard-boiled, but he's tough, yet caring, and he's a good detective to boot. Rina is a younger woman, perhaps even too innocent in her thinking, and that gets her into some trouble.

The author mixes a lot of Jewish culture and historical tidbits in for the reader, and that's great. I love learnin...more
Awallens
Detective Peter Decker of the LAPD is stunned when he gets the report. Someone has shattered the sanctuary of a remote yeshiva community in the California
hills with an unimaginable crime. One of the women was brutally raped as she returned from the mikvah, the bathhouse where the cleansing ritual is performed.

The crime was called in by Rina Lazarus, and Decker is relieved to discover that she is a calm and intelligent witness. She is also the only one in the
sheltered community willing to speak o...more
Karschtl
I like starting a series of books with the first part. I do think this makes sense, since this is the book where the characters are properly introduced.
So despite having several books by Faye Kellerman for some time, I only started reading when I recently got "Ritual Bath". The book where Rina Lararus and Det. Decker meet.
I didn't know much about the series or the characters beforehand, I think I always thought that both would be with the police - a team like in all those TV shows. But Rina is a...more
Daughters Of Abraham
This book had a lot of mixed reviews from our book group. It is a mystery novel that delves into several cultural and class issues which the author does not really appear to recognize and therefore does not resolve by the end of the novel. Many women were offended by the brutal rape and murder of the security guard. Our group did not find this to be a good book for a new chapter of Daughters. It did not delve into the spiritual aspect of observing the ritual of mikveh/ taharat ha-mishpachah/fami...more
Britney
I wasn't for sure what to think by the title of the book. It doesn't sound like your usual mystery title. I now understand why the author named it that. It was a very good book. At times I had a hard time understanding some of the language, because I am not familiar with Judism. It did teach me alot about some of the Judism ways. It was very interesting. The more I read the book the less I wanted to put it down. One of the main character Rina Lazarus frustrated me at times with her occasionally...more
Janine Zachariae
Ein spannendes Buch!
Es geht darum das in einer Mikwa (rituelles Bad) ein Verbrechen stattfand, was Detektiv Decker veranlasst über vieles - nicht nur das Verbrechen - nachzudenken.
Er lernt die Jüdin Rina kennen und sie zeigt ihm etwas von ihrer jüdischen Welt.

Ein Thriller über "Sittlichkeitsverbrecher" und Juden, die es nicht einfach haben.
Hätte zu Beginn nicht gedacht das es mir so gut gefallen würde, aber die Art und Weise wie über alles erzählt wurde, war echt gut.
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 99 100 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Blood Test (Alex Delaware, #2)
  • Until Proven Guilty (J.P. Beaumont #1)
48913
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...
Milk and Honey (Peter Decker/Rina Lazarus, #3) Hangman (Peter Decker/Rina Lazarus, #19) Sanctuary (Peter Decker/Rina Lazarus, #7) Sacred and Profane (Peter Decker/Rina Lazarus, #2) Day of Atonement (Peter Decker/Rina Lazarus, #4)

Share This Book