Faye Kellerman's 11th Peter Decker-Rina Lazarus mystery takes police lieutenant Decker into the enclave of a Heaven's Gate-style pseudoscientific religious cult, the Order of the Rings of God. The cult's leader, a former world-class physicist who styles himself Jupiter, has died of an ungodlike combination of liquor and prescription drugs, but whether it was accident, suicide, or murder is suspiciously murky. The death is mysteriously reported by Jupiter's estranged daughter Europa, a scientist who has nothing to do with the cult, and when the police arrive on the scene, they find that Jupiter's followers, particularly his four unpleasantly ambitious personal attendants, range from uncooperative to downright hostile. Decker's suspicions kick into high gear when two other cult members go missing and another body turns up. But with the tense situation threatening to unravel as explosively as Jonestown or Waco, it's Marge, Decker's professional sidekick, who penetrates the cult's inner sanctum and effects a scary eleventh-hour rescue.|
For Decker, as always, the mystery serves to offset the tempestuous Orthodox Jewish family life that he married into. Sammy, Rina's older son, wants to study in a politically unstable region of Israel, and Jake, the younger, is teetering on the edge of a most unorthodox social scene of girls, porn movies, and pot. Kellerman knows how to craft a compelling mystery, but it's the honesty of Decker's unique religious and family struggles that keeps mystery fans interested book after book. If you're new to this series, you'll want to begin at the beginning with The Ritual Bath.
Source: Barrie Trinkle, Amazon.com.