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The Burnt House: A Peter Decker/Rina Lazarus Novel    by Faye Kellerman order for
Burnt House
by Faye Kellerman
Order:  USA  Can
William Morrow, 2007 (2007)
Hardcover, Audio, e-Book
* *   Reviewed by Hilary Williamson

In The Burnt House, Faye Kellerman gives us a well reasoned police procedural with an intriguing twist, starring her popular - and endearing - series characters, LAPD Lieutenant Peter Decker and his beloved wife Rina, along with their large and growing extended family of relatives and friends.

The horror - and puzzles - begin after a small WestAir commuter plane crashes into an apartment building in Granada Hills, California. After the initial frenzied activity and chaos at the scene settles, a first big question mark emerges, to do with the fate of twenty-eight-year-old Roseanne Dresden, a flight attendant who may or may not have been aboard. Her stepfather persistently and aggressively claims that she was murdered by her (soon to be ex-) husband, while he has reported that she was on the flight, hopes to claim the insurance, and has sold his own car, taking over her BMW.

As Peter, along with his subordinates Marge and Oliver, deal with an uncooperative airline and dig into Roseanne's whereabouts in the days preceding the crash, the recovery team unearths the second question mark, in the body of a charred, unidentified female victim who is not Roseanne and was definitely not on the flight. An exhausted Peter Decker now has two possible homicides on a plate that was already overflowing after the disaster. Surprisingly, since the latter victim was killed in the 70s, the cases are linked to each other, and it's Miriam's citing the Burnt House in Jerusalem that helps Peter focus in on a solution.

Though the connection between the cases seems a little forced, Faye Kellerman offers readers an intriguing scenario in The Burnt House, sixteenth in her cozy procedural series. And it's always a pleasure for fans to spend time with the engaging Decker/Lazarus clan.

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