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January 26, 2010

Review: Milk and Honey

2010 Finishes: Books

Milk and Honey by Faye Kellerman
Genre: Mystery
Pages: 416
Rating: 8.3

Milk and Honey is the third mystery in Kellerman's Peter Decker/Rina Lazarus series about an L.A. cop who meets and falls in love with an Orthodox Jewish widow. It wasn't quite as good as the first two, in large part because Rina wasn't really involved in the main mystery, and was absent for the first section of the book, as she was staying in New York while deciding whether to marry Peter. Peter is a strong, interesting character, and he would probably be enough to carry a series on his own, but after getting used to their interaction in the first two books I missed it in this one.

The main mystery revolves around a two-year-old Peter finds wandering around at night, He eventually traces her back to a family of beekeepers, several of whom (including the child's parents) have been murdered. The main subplot involves an old army friend of Peter's who is accused of assaulting a prostitute. Peter's determined to find out what really happened and clear the man's name if he's really innocent. (I kept expecting these plots to come together somehow, but so far as I can remember, they did not.)

Those mystery plots were . . . fine. Not hugely mind-blowing or anything, but well done and not too easy to figure out. But I think the real point of the book was to allow Kellerman to reveal more about Peter's past through the interactions with the Army friend. (There were also a few shockers about Peter and his ex-wife thrown in.) I didn't like the friend - he wasn't supposed to be likeable - so I got a little bogged down in some of the passages about their history in Vietnam. And as Rina learned about some of these things along with the reader, there were a few of those moments that tend to happen in books when you can see what's coming, how the characters are misunderstanding each other and it will lead to disaster, and you just want to reach into the book and yell at them. So that was a little uncomfortable to read. But from a series development point of view, I see how both Rina and the reader had to come to terms with these aspects of Peter's past and his character. Now that they have at least started working through these things, they can get married (the next book seems to take place on their honeymoon), and Rina and her sons will, I hope, be more present in future books.

Posted by Kat at January 26, 2010 01:00 PM
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