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The ritual bath : a novel
Faye Kellerman
Adult Fiction KELLERM

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From Publishers' Weekly:

Like the series it inspired, Kellerman's award-winning 1986 debut novel combines police procedure, via hard-boiled LAPD detective Peter Decker, with Judaic rites and rituals courtesy of its heroine Rina Lazarus, an ultra-Orthodox widowed mother of two. Decker and Lazarus are brought together by the brutal rape of a young bride-to-be at the mikvah (a bathhouse used in the purification ritual) that Rina manages in the Hollywood hills. Mitchell Greenberg nicely vocalizes the story from Decker's point of view, with the detective struggling to stick to his sleuthing in spite of his developing feelings for Rina. The novel continually rings true, from explaining various Orthodox beliefs and customs to Decker and his crew's no-nonsense unmasking of the villain. Greenberg moves in and out of the novel's elements smoothly and efficiently. He paces the police work with just the right sense of urgency and frustration; handles the romantic sequences with the proper emotion and without a hint of sentimentality; and breezes through the many Jewish-centric passages with the confidence and clarity of a yeshiva graduate. An Avon paperback. (Jan.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

From Library Journal:

This is Kellerman's first Peter Decker/Rina Lazarus mystery, published in 1986. When an orthodox Jewish woman is raped outside the mikvah (ritual bath), Det. Peter Decker is assigned to the case and soon becomes immersed in the insular world of the Yeshiva (orthodox Jewish school). While investigating the rape, Peter meets Rina Lazarus, the young widow who runs the bathhouse, and there is an immediate mutual attraction. Despite Rina's determination not to get involved with a Gentile, her romantic feelings toward Peter grow. The story is exciting, the characters are well developed, and the listener is introduced to Jewish law and ritual. Narrator Mitchell Greenberg does an excellent job; he pronounces the Jewish terms and Hebrew words correctly, and he gives each character an appropriate voice and accent. Highly recommended for mystery collections. [Also available as downloadable audio.-Ed.]-Ilka Gordon, Park Synagogue Lib., Pepper Pike, OH (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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