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Hangman (Peter Decker and Rina Lazarus #19)

3.98 of 5 stars 3.98  ·  rating details  ·  5,995 ratings  ·  326 reviews
Murder, a missing woman, and a sociopath from the past sweep Peter Decker and Rina Lazarus into a labyrinth of mystery and danger in this electrifying new tale of suspense from New York Times bestselling author Faye Kellerman. . . .

Fifteen years ago, high school senior Chris Whitman went to jail for murdering his girlfriend, Cheryl Diggs. Propelled by a misguided sense of
Hardcover, 422 pages
Published August 3rd 2010 by William Morrow & Company (first published 2010)
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It says much for a series author when the reader forgets that the characters aren't real. When I read the flap and learned this was a Chris Donatti novel, I had to think back to when Decker first met him. (Justice) and I mentally reviewed Decker's resume to determine where he was stationed. I was aghast to learn that Hannah was going off to college. I remember when she was born. Scary that these characters are so real, so believable. This was a terrific novel that intertwined a gruesome murder w ...more
Faye Kellerman to me is pretty hit and miss. I will pick up one of her books when I know that I won't have much time to concentrate fully on a non-fiction (my preference.) This was a true MISS. Four and five stars -- really folks? It was slowwwwwwww and boring. The details are often irrelevant and trivial (i.e. who cares what Marge is wearing. Faye tells us repeatedly anyway. It doesn't move the plot forward to include those words. It's padding. As is her repeated reference to her claustrophobia ...more
I've read all of Faye Kellerman's Decker/Lazarus books and they never disappoint, but this one is better than average. She twists together the brutal murder of a nurse with the reappearance of hit man Chris Donatti and his wife, Terry.

Decker first met the pair as teens in Justice, one of the best books in the series, and later confronted Donatti in Stone Kiss. Kellerman's talent for revealing the complexities of her characters shines in this novel as she untangles the mysteries, and the pacing
We’ve read every one of the Rina Lazarus / Peter Decker stories to date; and hate to say this was probably our least favorite. The 420 page book sees the first 50 pages set the scene, then the clues ever so painfully and slowly appear for 350 pages, followed by an intense 20-page ending that reveals all with little or no further work on the part of the detectives. Our high school English teacher would never have approved that outline !!

As usual, “Hangman”, mostly about a young female nurse hung
Yet another page turner by Faye Kellerman. I really enjoy reading the Peter Decker/Rina Lazrus mystery novels and the way Kellerman weaves the intensity of Peter's job with the soft side of his personal life as he relates to his wife, his children, and the outsiders he takes in. In this particular story Kellerman captures your attention as you try to figure out "who dunnit"; were there several serial killers? were they related? It's a fantasy world, but I like to believe Peter Decker's team is r ...more
Traci Haley
The last few Faye Kellerman books I've read have been somewhat disappointing... more procedural and less of what I really love, which is the interaction of all the characters that make up the story. In this new entry into the series, however, Kellerman returns to the format that made me start reading her novels in the first place -- lots and lots of interaction between Peter and Rina and the kids, along with the new addition of Gabe Donatti. I knew I vaguely remembered the Donatti family from pr ...more
Hangman by Faye Kellerman is her 21st Peter Decker and Rina Lazarus mystery. Professional hit man, Chris Donnatti, has been mistreating his wife, Terry, so she has fled to L.A. with her son Gabe. She agrees to a meeting with Donnatti only if Decker will attend to protect her. Shortly afterwords Terry disappears, so Decker and family take in 14-year-old Gabe, while trying to locate Terry, not to mention Chris. Meanwhile, there is a homicide case to solve that is growing serial killer characterist ...more
I used to enjoy this series, been reading it since the beginning. This one was poorly written, giving plugs to her other books, which was as tacky as you can get. And not only that she repeated 3 times the same reference to Madge's claustrophobia. The book needed editing. I listened to it on books on cd and the writing did not flow or sound normal.

The characters of Decker and Rina and family are great and learning about Orthodox Judiasm interesting. In the beginning of the series Kellerman wasn
Tracy Terry
Book 19 in the Peter Decker/Rina Lazarus series. Whilst each of the books deals with a separate case I strongly recommend that they be read in order as as well as the crimes themselves the books predictably follow family life in the Decker/Lazarus household, the earlier ones in particular dealing with Peter's journey into orthodox Judaism after he discovers his birth parents were Jewish.

'Brutal' claims the front cover. Whilst this is certainly one of the more graphic of the books as far as viole
Reading about the Peter Decker/Rina Lazarus relationship that serves as sometimes the backdrop and sometimes the focal point for Faye Kellerman's books is always a pleasure. They're people you'd like to know. One of Lt. Decker's overlapping cases in this book is gruesome, though Kellerman's forte is relating such things without dwelling on details in such a way that you want to skip parts of the story. The other case, is one of psychological tension and makes you hope throughout for a good outco ...more
Susan Clark-cook
I came to read this author because of the books her husband wrote, Jonathan Kellerman, and am not totally hooked on her books as well. I particularly love the way she developes and fleshes out her characters in the decker/lazarus novels. I love to learn more about them as I watch them work through the case and slowly but surely come closer and closer to the answer of the murder and mystery they are working through. It makes me think as I read what would I do next where are these clues and happen ...more
Donna Herrick
What I appreciate the most about Faye Kellerman, one of my favorite authors, is how her stories blend a fast-pced crime plot with a story that exposes the happiest, most satisfying explication of the goodness and kindness of family life.
This is a really good double murder mystery with a surprise ending, well written and a fast read. I would have liked to have seen the characters developed a little more, but a good read anyway.
Another great book by Faye Kellerman. I thoroughly enjoy the books in which Peter Decker and wife Rina are main characters. Great investigative work and great parenting by them.
A couple of nurses are murdered and Decker has the case. In addition he has taken on the responsibility of taking in the son of someone that tried to kill him at one time but now it seems a mutual respect has grown between the two men.

I just completed the 19th novel by Ms Kellerman and the 3rd one in a row after taking a break for several years. In the last three novels it seems that Decker is always looking for someone that seems to be lost. There seems to be the same theme in each novel. The e
Come previsto ecco che le strade di Peter Decker e Chris Donatti si incrociano di nuovo ed in modo "pesante".
Terry McLaughling ora signora Donatti chiede aiuto/protezione a Decker per concordare un allontanamento dal marito e sembra aver trovato un accordo quando improvvisamente scompare. Decker si ritrova a seguire le indagini di un "apparente" e poco credibile suicidio, primo di una serie di delitti e tentati omicidi, a cercare di rintracciare Terry ed ad accogliere il figlio 14enne un po' sco
Pam Koenig
I enjoyed this book, didn't find it slow or lacking. I started it this morning and just finished it. I thought the mysteries were good, interesting interactions and engaging characters. The only one I didn't care for was Gabe's mother, it seemed like she was just trying to set up her husband. She came across as cold and unfeeling. I really wanted to know more about Chris, Gabe's father, for all his anger he came across as caring for his son the only way he knew how. I see the next book has more ...more
Etha Carson

I have enjoyed every Faye Kellerman, Decker/Lazarus novel I have read. Multiple story lines at 1 time following the clues and development of the characters, where the clues lead. I enjoyed the alternate story about a teenage boy, his mother and his unusual father as it twinned through the murder mystery. The author doesn't dwell on a gory description of the victims but relates facts in language that could easily have come from a police report. Decker and his wife are portrayed as a
I found this under the category 'thriller'. That is certainly a misnomer. It can be labeled as a mystery, however, if you are looking for any urgency, tingles, or thrills this is not the book. This is my first Faye Kellerman book and I gather from other reviews that it is not a good example. I found that the story was a bit convoluted and definitely dragged in many areas, with details that were just unnecessary. With that being said, it was not all bad and since it appears this is not the best m ...more

There are two mysteries in this one. First, Peter goes to help Terry when she meets up with her sociopath husband, Chris Whitman (seriously. Guy's a sociopath). The meeting goes well, but a few hours later, he gets a call from their son, Gabe. Terry's missing. Peter and Rina agree to let Gabe stay with them while
I've said it before, and I'll probably say it again: The Decker/Lazarus books with Chris Whitman/Donatti are just not that good. I find his and Terri's characters completely unbelievable, and now Gabe's character is similarly incredulous. Also, the pacing of this story was just odd. It felt fine until close to the end, when she suddenly wrapped everything up at a much faster pace than the rest of the book had been going. It's still above average for a crime novel, but not Kellerman's best, by an ...more
Published in 2010, Faye Kellerman's Hangman is still an astonishing novel for all those who enjoy reading a good crime book. Although the book includes a variety of setting,( e.g. the station, Decker's house, victims' houses, crime scenes, school, etc.) the reader never looses track of what's going on or where each character is. Even though, some of the main focuses of the novel are figuring what happened to Gabe's mom, where his Dad is, and whether Decker and Rina should let him continue to liv ...more
Okay, so this book took me ages to get into ... there's a lot of stuff going on in the beginning, but it doesn't really grip you until about midway thru. Unfortunately I think there actually may be too many sub-plots and storylines in this one. Certainly I felt that way at the end when Kellerman was trying to tie up all the loose ends. And the story they play up in the blurb (above) is barely even relevant in the end. Not the best Kellerman book I've read. I think I still definitely prefer Jonat ...more
Fifteen years ago, high school senior Chris Whitman went to jail for murdering his girlfriend, Cheryl Diggs. Propelled by a misguided sense of chivalry, he confessed, determined to save another classmate, the beautiful and vulnerable Terry McLaughlin, from having to testify at his trial. When the truth came out, Chris was released from prison, married Terry—pregnant with his child—and changed his last name to Donatti. He also became a professional killer.

Peter Decker was the detective on the cas
Kellerman (Faye) doesn't waste a lot of words. Two stories are intertwined and the action moves quickly in both stories.

Lt. Peter Decker is called to the Bel Air Hotel to meet with a woman he knew when she was a very young mother. Fifteen years later she returns to Southern California from New York as her husband injured her in a fit of jealousy. The husband has a reputation as an assassin. She wants Peter to run interference for her in meeting with her husband, but later she disappears from the
Contrary to other Decker/Lazarus stories featuring bad guy Chris Donatti I didn’t find this one disappointing at all. Don’t get me wrong I’m a huge fan of the Peter Decker books, but I’ve never liked Chris Whitman/Donatti, whose evil personality never rang true with me. However, bringing in Donatti's progeny into the mix was a stroke of genius by the author. Gabe, the 14-year old son of Chris Donatti and Terry McLaughlin, is such an outstanding character, because he’s everything you don’t expect ...more
I've read most of the Deckers in order - the first one was out of order (Cold Case, as sold in Europe, or Mercedes Coffin elsewhere) but since then mostly in order. More enjoyable that way as most of the main characters grow and age in them and life changes them. This one seems to gain a new member for the Deckers (at least for a book or two ahead), and the next one should introduce a few more (and maybe get some of the current ones to the background).

This one as expected was overall enjoyable (
I have been a fan since day one and I have read all the Decker/Lazarus books so I did come to this one with a full background on all the recurring characters. Bear this in mind if you are new to the series.
I had been a little disappointed with a couple of the recent offerings; but this one kept me enthralled from start to finish. I have to also say that a lot of the reviews out there complain about the editing on the Kindle version. I can honestly say I was not bothered by it. I have come to rea
Kelly Hager
There are two mysteries in this one. First, Peter goes to help Terry when she meets up with her sociopath husband, Chris Whitman (seriously. Guy's a sociopath). The meeting goes well, but a few hours later, he gets a call from their son, Gabe. Terry's missing. Peter and Rina agree to let Gabe stay with them while they find Terry. (And if Chris is responsible, they'll probably never find a body.)

To make matters worse, a woman is found dead, hanging in a construction site. That's not a normal caus
I really enjoy Faye Kellerman's novels about detective Peter Decker. She combines the seamy grind of his policeman's job with the softer side of his personal life with wife, children, and friends combining Jewish and American culture. Both police and private sides feels authentic. A policeman's job is full of tedious tracking down of details and finding connections. And family life is not all smooth sailing either, needing work and give-and-take. In this story, the wife of a sociopathic killer d ...more
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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 and Rina Lazarus (1 - 10 of 23 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)
The Ritual Bath (Peter Decker/Rina Lazarus, #1) Milk and Honey (Peter Decker/Rina Lazarus, #3) Sanctuary (Peter Decker/Rina Lazarus, #7) Sacred and Profane (Peter Decker/Rina Lazarus, #2) Day of Atonement (Peter Decker/Rina Lazarus, #4)

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