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on 24 July 1999
Over two decades ago, cosmologists and astrophysicists held Dr. Emil Euler Ganz in very high esteem as one of the leading lights of his field. Ganz finally resurfaces ten years after vanishing. His new name is Father Jupiter and he heads the Order of the Rings of God cult. For the next fifteen years, Jupiter dictatorially led his followers. Though aging and his alcohol-drug related death seems like a suicide, the autopsy reveals the possibility of murder through arsenic poisoning.
Los Angeles Police Department Detective Peter Decker begins an investigation to determine whether foul play actually occurred. However, before he can get deeply into the case, two more of the leaders suddenly die. Law enforcement officials conclude a serial killer is on the loose inside the cult's compound. As the cult's current leader Brother Bob holds police and FBI at bay with the threat of killing everyone, including the children, Decker wonders what to do next to save the lives of the innocent.
The Decker police procedurals are some of the best on the market today. Peter remains a complete character who struggles with an ugly work scenario while trying to be a loving father and husband. The story line nears greatness when it focuses on the police inquiries and their struggle with the cult. The plot bogs down when it turns to a lesson on physics that detours the crisp tale to a near standstill. Overall, Faye Kellerman gives readers an entertaining novel that borders on excellence when the reader skips the lectures on physics.

Harriet Klausner
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on 6 January 2000
My first Faye Kellermann book and it wasn't until I was well into it that I actually realised it was part of a series, which gives it the thumbs-up for its ability to 'stand alone'. It's an interesting crime thriller with an unusual lead character. It's not fast, nor is it action-packed, but it holds you fast nonetheless, keeps you thinking and is highly-original. Well worth a read.
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on 28 January 2000
Read in one sitting. Different storyline to usual. Enjoyed the phsycology of the cult. Very well researched. Please hurry with the next one.
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on 22 June 2000
Having read all of FK's books I was disapointed by this one. It is supposed to be the Decker/Lazarus series but Rina has turned into a shadow of her former self. She seams more like an out of touch cartoon that the heroine we have come to know and love and she is now barely more than Deckers prudish housekeeper. A good book on its own but sadly lacking in the developement of it's characters. Lets hope for better in her new book.
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on 28 December 2007
L.A. Police Lieutenant Pete Decker is called in to investigate the death of a cult leader, the charismatic Father Jupiter of the Order of the Rings of God, the former famous astromoner, Dr. Emil Ganz.

There are suspects galore. Ganz had made a lot of enemies when he was a scientist and his leadership of the cult was coveted by some of his followers. Added to that are the relatives of people who have been lured into the cult. The police probably wouldn't even have been notified of Ganz's death, which had already been called a suicide by the other cult leaders, if someone hadn't told his estranged daughter. She, in turn, called the police.

Getting into the compound and getting cooperation from the members is difficult enough for Decker, but it's complicated by a struggle for power by the four privileged attendants, who are; Pluto, Venus, Nova and Bob. Brother Pluto is livid with anger because of the invasion of the police into their sacred sanctuary.

In addition to Jupiter's death, the police learn that two of the cult members, one a child, are missing. Pluto shifts between accusing the police and a cult deprogrammer of stealing these two from their happy home.

And as usual in a Faye Kellerman novel, there's problems on the home front. It appears that Decker's younger stepson, Jacob, is smoking pot and messing around with his girlfriend. For many parents that might seem like a teenage phase, but for Orthodox Jews it's a big deal.

Kellerman knows how to write a fast-moving, suspenseful story involving people the reader learns to care about. She also manges to educate the reader about her religion without seeming to preach. Somehow she does it, without it getting in the way of the story. All and all, a very good read.
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on 9 July 2013
I found this one to be a cliff-hanger. I had read it before but am currently re-reading all Faye Kellerman's books in order and this one had stuck in my memory; a really good read
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on 4 March 2013
I love Pete decker. Faye kellerman is a great writer. I love "watching " Pete and rinas family growing up. I just like Faye kellerman s writing.
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on 1 January 2013
First time i have read any of his books but i will be reading a few more very good reading could not put it down
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on 3 March 2013
I really enjoyed this book with it's twists and cliff hangers. A gripping read for all who likes crime fiction
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on 27 January 2013
Up to the good standards that we expect from Kellerman kept you in suspence till the end very well written
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