Marleen's Reviews > Hangman: A Decker/Lazarus Novel

Hangman by Faye Kellerman
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's review
Jan 16, 2012

really liked it
bookshelves: faye-kellerman
Read from January 14 to 16, 2012

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. Your heart breaks for him, and in the meantime you admire him for having so much good sense and insight at such a young age.
For me, the real appeal of the Decker books has always been about Peter being a family man and a very loving husband. It’s that mixture of him doing his job as a lieutenant detective, leading his team, solving crimes & being confronted daily with violence and devious people on one hand, while, on the other hand also dedicating his time and energy to his wife & family that made me go back to these books time and time again. I love it that there’s plenty of room made for the family's trials & tribulations. In this installment, Peter turns 60 – I can hardly believe this: 60 years old! On this celebratory occasion the whole family is reunited – what a treat. Even though Samuel, Jacob, Cindy and Koby were only present for a few pages, it was absolutely great to catch up with them. Peter’s entire family always brings genuine humanity and warmth into the story.
Same goes for Peter's team; the detectives working for him. Over the years, their characterization has always been in-depthly developed, both professionally as personally. It's as if they've become sort of my co-workers too.
As for the crime plots, the first one: finding Gabe’s mother, Terry; it wasn’t all that thrilling but it was poignant, and I understood Terry's motives on some level. The 2nd plot: the murder of Adrianna Blanc kept me rather captivated. It wasn’t top-notch, nor super clever, but I think it was closer to reality than fiction. There were no big surprises, no big victories. It felt more like win-some, loose-some.

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