Oh-hum, this place has been a bit quiet these days, hasn’t it? I’ve had a great time in Avignon lately, dancing to the tune of a popular French nursery rhyme, and very busy at work otherwise, my mind full of crafty fall projects.
This review is long overdue, as I read this mystery comfortably in our little Czech flat in Marienbad (of Robbe-Grillet fame) during summer. But the good point about being late is that it reminds me of the holidays! (no I’m not talking xmas, which is already around the corner, who can believe that?)
I was introduced to the duo Peter Decker / Rina Lazarus in the later mystery “Stalker“, that unfortunately concentrated on a secondary character, their daughter Cindy Decker. But the first try had been convincing enough, so I made sure that nobody else stole the show this time!
Prayers for the Dead has so many ingredients, that it looks a bit like a tossed salad: mix a converted Jewish detective, his Jewish Orthodox wife, widow of a previous marriage to a theologian, a Catholic priest who befriended the said wife (hmm?), a Fundamentalist Christian surgeon, Hells Angels bikers, shady pharmaceutical businessmen, a gay surgeon, a friendly lawyer (now isn’t that suspicious?) and a few LAPD detectives who are trying to uncover the truth among literally dozens of suspects with lots of motives. Shake well! Luckily the salad dressing is flavorful and full of zest.
Although the mix might seem far-fetched and improbable, the result is quite entertaining and the Decker / Lazarus family seems true to life. It starts slowly but the tension builds up. Giving the ingredients, the plot is quite twisty and I defy anyone to guess the ending!