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The Ritual Bath [Paperback]

Faye Kellerman BA in Dentistry UCLA
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
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Book Description

19 Sep 1996
When the call comes in, Detective Peter Decker can hardly believe it. A rape at the yeshiva up in the canyon and hill country behind Los Angeles? True, there had been some recent anti-Semitic vandalism but never any violence. Not only that, but this was a strict Orthodox Jewish community, self-enclosed and suspicious of outsiders. Not much chance they'd co-operate with the police. And he is right - as Rina Lazarus, the frustratingly fascinating young widow who found the victim proves when she talks about her world. Outsider he may be, but Decker has a feeling in his policeman's bones that the cost of privacy to this determined community could be murderously high...

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Product details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Headline; New Ed edition (19 Sep 1996)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0747255911
  • ISBN-13: 978-0747255918
  • Product Dimensions: 1.8 x 11.1 x 17.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 239,096 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Born in St. Louis, Faye Kellerman is one of the most highly considered US crime authors. Her first novel, 'The Ritual Bath' (1986) introduced Sergeant Peter Decker and Rina Lazarus. It also won the 1987 Macavity Award for Best First Mystery. Kellerman currently lives in Beverly Hills with her husband and four children.

Product Description

Book Description

The first tense thriller in Faye Kellerman's stunningly original Pete Decker series

About the Author

Faye Kellerman has four children and lives with them and her husband, Jonathan Kellerman, in Los Angeles.

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Customer Reviews

4.1 out of 5 stars
4.1 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An excellent (and educating) read 7 April 2002
By A Customer
Having read several of Faye Kellerman's later books, it was a delight to 'be in at the beginning'. Superbly rounded characters and an excellent plot had me turning pages at speed. As a Non-Jew I found myself fascinated by the insight offered into both the way of life and rituals of Orthodox Judaism, making this book not only hugely entertaining but also highly educational. This is a must read.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An Award-Winning Debut Mystery 27 Aug 2005
"The Ritual Bath," Faye Kellerman's debut novel introducing the Peter Decker/Rina Lazarus series won the 1987 Mcavity Award for Best First Mystery.
Detective Peter Decker is called to investigate a vicious rape in a remote Orthodox Jewish Community in the California hills outside of Los Angeles. One of the women was brutally attacked as she walked home from the mikvah, the bathhouse where the cleansing ritual is performed. Rina Lazarus, the lovely young widow who discovered the victim, acts as an intermediary between Decker and the yeshiva, (a Jewish religious seminary), students and their families who are suspicious of outsiders.
Decker is also working on a case involving a brutal serial rapist with a foot fetish, who operates in an area near the yeshiva. It is a possibility that this psychopath, called the Foothill rapist, is the attacker. Or the perpetrator(s) could be a gang of teen thugs who have been responsible for anti-Semitic vandalism and violence in the past. And then there are suspects who are members of the religious community itself. From the first, it is clear that further assaults of a similar nature are more than likely to occur. The next incident, on the yeshiva grounds, is a horrific murder. As evidence accumulates, it appears that Rina is the psychopath's primary target.
Rina is a beautiful woman both outside and in. The mother of two young sons, she lost her husband, a brilliant seminary scholar, at a very young age. She is now in her late twenties and maintains the mikvah, as well as teaches mathematics, to support herself and her boys. She has not had much contact with men since her husband's untimely death, and although she and Decker are very much drawn to each other from the first, she refuses to involve herself with a man who is not an Orthodox Jew.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Impossible to put down! 19 Jun 2002
By A Customer
I loved this book from start to finish. The first Faye Kellerman book I read was "Stalker" and also had trouble putting that down - always just one more page! - I couldnt wait to read more of her books, and I am now starting at the beginning and have already bought the next six just so I never have to be without! The series does have a Jewish theme but although it is always there it is not 'in your face' style. I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys a great crime and suspense book!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars a good read, pacy, informative and entertaining 31 Aug 2000
Faye Kellerman is an excellent find, she is the wife of Jonathan Kellerman but seems to write books with Jewish interest. the insight given into the lives of orthodox Jews is an accurate portrayal and one I found very interesting. Highly commended and I looking forward to reading more.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Shalom readers of this book 10 Mar 2011
This is such a good read. I could not guess who did it and that is the only way that I can enjoy a detective story
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Faye Kellerman - The Ritual Bath 10 Sep 2009
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Having read and enjoyed reading Jonathan Kellermans books for sometime I felt intrigued as to what sort of books his wife, Faye was writing. Having heard only good things about the series I decided I would order the first in her Rina Lazarus/Peter Decker series 'The Ritual Bath'. The first thing you notice as you get into the story is its heavy influence from the Jewish culture, and community. Firstly we are introduced to the shy and quiet Rina Lazarus who lives in a small community in the LA Hills which is inhabited solely by Jewish citizens. So, when a brutal rape occurs within the community, Detective Peter Decker is thrust into this strange and somewhat hostile community as he is put in charge to solve the crime.

What pursues is a good enough mystery of who is targetting the ladies of the community and along the way we learn quite a bit about the basics of Judaism and their beliefs. But not in a preachy way, Kellerman has managed to fit it into the story so effortlessly that at no point is it tedious to read about. The characters are good enough and I look forward to seeing them progress through out the series. My one downside about this book is that the crimes and the police work are not as in depth as what you would read today in say, a Karin Slaughter or Patricia Cornwell novel. However that isn't surprising considering the book is over 20 years old.

All in all it is definately worth a look. You'll be greeted by an entertaining read with a good cast of characters and also learn a bit aswell. I'm glad I decided to give it a try and can't wait to read the next in the series: 'Sacred and Profane'
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5.0 out of 5 stars great story line kept me reading. 13 Nov 2013
By Liz
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Enjoyed story line, characters and learned about Jewish culture. will read more Faye Kellerman after this.
recommend this book to all crime lovers.
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