by Faye Kellerman
A solemn-faced young man in a green blazer strolls into a crowded Los Angeles eatery, orders a drink at the bar, then pulls a 9mm Smith & Wesson automatic out of his jacket and opens fire. When the shooting stops, 13 people are dead (including the gunman), 32 are wounded, and L.A. homicide detective Peter Decker is charged with mopping up the details of what his superiors assume is a simple, if tragic, case of mass murder. But is it? The more Decker learns, the less it makes sense.
Serpent’s Tooth is the 10th mystery in Faye Kellerman’s popular series featuring Decker and his ever-supportive wife, Rina Lazarus. After so many outings, the author’s pacing is sure and her characters nuanced, particularly as they struggle to blend the real-life details of detective work with their orthodox Jewish home life. And it’s a credit to Kellerman’s storytelling abilities that long after she reveals “who done it,” readers will be frantically flipping pages to find out just how and why. (Morrow, $24.50)