August 23, 2010

Review: Hangman by Faye Kellerman

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 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 case, and over the years, he and Terry kept in touch. Now his friend is in L.A. and asking for a favor. Though Decker knows full well that getting involved will bring Terry's sociopathic husband back into his life, the obsessive and duty-bound LAPD lieutenant reluctantly agrees. The favor soon becomes complicated when Terry goes missing and Donatti disappears, leaving their fourteen-year-old son, Gabe, with no one to turn to except Decker and his wife, Rina Lazarus. 

But Peter's search for Terry must share center stage with a gruesome murder. Adrianna Blanc, a neonatal nurse at St. Timothy's Hospital, had signed off her night shift at eight a.m. Six hours later, a foreman supervising the construction of a house in a nearby suburb discovered her body swinging from the rafters, a cable wire around her neck. Her car was found where she had parked it the night before, with no signs of foul play. 

A dedicated and conscientious professional, Adrianna had a circle of close friends. Yet as Decker and his able team soon learn, the young woman also had her share of detractors. A party-hearty girl, she enjoyed booze, kinky sex, and revenge-cheating on her boyfriend, Garth Hammerling, another nurse at St. Tim's. Suspicions heat up when Decker and his team find that one of Adrianna's last phone calls was a provocative and disturbing message to her vacationing boyfriend—who himself has vanished without a trace. Was Adrianna's death something personal because of her carefree lifestyle? Or was this unusually cruel and very dramatic murder the first signs of a serial killer? With lives hanging in the balance, Decker and his colleagues, Sergeant Marge Dunn and Detective Scott Oliver, need to find answers and fast. 

As if juggling two investigations weren't enough for the lieutenant (not to mention turning sixty!), things are becoming even more dangerous with his precarious home life. Ever the concerned parent, Decker wants to look after Terry's son, Gabe. Yet who will protect his own family? Because if there's one thing he knows for sure, with a sociopath like Donatti on the loose, no one is ever really safe.

This is the first book of this series that I have read.  I'm definitely going to check out the other 18.  I really enjoyed Faye's writing and the plot.  If you like James Patterson, I think you'll like Faye.

Peter Decker and Rina Lazarus Series #19
HarperCollins Publishers
August 3, 2010
422 pages
$25.99 US

Visit Faye's website

Disclosure:  I received a copy of this book for free from HarperCollins Publishers.  All opinions expressed are 100% mine.  If you purchase a book using my Amazon or Barnes and Noble link, I will receive a small portion of the purchase price.

Bookmark and Share


  1. Sounds like an interesting read...I am just now starting to get into these types of thrillers...would love to be entered!


  2. Sounds like a good read...always looking for good series to read.

  3. Looks very exciting. The last Kellerman I read was the one she wrote with her daughter, I need to catch up!

  4. I love this type of book. Looks like this is something I should check out.

  5. The review was good, but I think you gave too much of the story away. However I have read one of her books previously so I will try this one.

  6. Faye Kellerman's books are always good.

    lkish77123 at gmail dot com

  7. I really like this series. I enjoyed your review.

  8. I'm a big fan of Kellerman so I DO hope I win. (Your mandatory entry instructions say "It doesn't need to be a long drawn out comment, anything with do.")

  9. I just finished a Faye Kellerman audio book last week and would love to read this!

  10. Great review! This sounds like my kind of book. It has been a few years since I have read one of Kellerman's book. But I am looking forward to this one.


  11. I love Faye Kellerman!! If you like her try her husband's work, Jonathan. He goes more into the psychology of the crime.

  12. Such an interesting story!


  13. Always interested in adding another good book to my TBR pile.

    cgclynsg0 @ gmail dot com

  14. I like the Patterson reference!

  15. this sounds like a great thriller.. Thanks for the review!

  16. I've really enjoyed the Peter Decker and Rina Lazarus books that I've read in the past. I especially enjoyed the earlier books. This book was on my request list at the library from the day I heard about it!
    It sounds like it's a great read. And I can't wait to read it!

    email in blogger profile.

  17. Faye's writing is amazing, this review sure makes me think she has another winner, thanks!

  18. Sounds like a great book!

    nancyecdavis AT bellsouth DOT net