The Forgotten (Peter Decker and Rina Lazarus Series #13)

The Forgotten (Peter Decker and Rina Lazarus Series #13)

by Faye Kellerman

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The unofficial caretaker of her small storefront synagogue, Rina is shocked when she receives a morning call from the police. The modest place of worship has been desecrated with anti-Semitic graffiti and grisly Nazi death-camp photographs. Rina's husband, Lt. Peter Decker, is also rocked by this outrage, which cuts close to the spiritual heart of his family, but he can't let his emotions get in the way of his duties.

A suspect is soon in custody. Seventeen-year-old Ernesto Golding is one of L.A.'s children of wealth and privilege, a rich kid obsessed with haunting suspicions about the origins of his Polish paternal grandfather, who moved to Argentina after the Third Reich collapsed. Charges are brought against Ernesto, a deal is cut, and the vandalism case is eventually closed.

Still, Decker has never abandoned the possibility that others were involved in the desecration. And his hunch is confirmed when, six months later, Ernesto is found brutally murdered along with his therapist, Dr. Mervin Baldwin, at the psychologist's exclusive nature camp that caters to the wealthy's troubled children. Suspicion falls immediately on Baldwin's psychologist wife, Dee, who has vanished mysteriously. Further probing by Decker fails to produce quick answers and simple solutions. For Decker and Rina, unraveling the truth behind Ernesto's violent death becomes more terrifying with each sinister twist, pushing them into the ghastly world of ruthless parents and damaged youths. Slowly, lethal secrets with roots in the horrors of a past generation surface, propelling Peter and Rina into a dreaded journey of dark and evil — and of ultimate retribution.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780066209586
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 08/14/2001
Series: Peter Decker and Rina Lazarus Series , #13
Edition description: Large Print
Pages: 592
Product dimensions: 6.12(w) x 9.25(h) x 1.09(d)

About the Author

Faye Kellerman introduced L.A. cop Peter Decker and his wife, Rina Lazarus, to the mystery world fifteen years ago. Since then she has published twelve Decker/Lazarus novels, the most recent being the New York Times bestseller Stalker. She is also the author of Moon Music, a contemporary thriller set in Las Vegas, and The Quality of Mercy, a historical novel of Elizabethan England. Kellerman lives in California with her husband, noted author Jonathan Kellerman, and their four children, three dogs, and fish too numerous to count.


Beverly Hills, California

Date of Birth:

July 31, 1952

Place of Birth:

St. Louis, Missouri


B.A. in Mathematics, 1974; D.D.A., 1978

Read an Excerpt

Excerpt from Chapter One

The call was from the police. Not from Rina's lieutenant husband, but from the police police. She listened as the man spoke, and when she heard that it had nothing to do with Peter or the children, she felt a "Thank you, God" wave of instant relief. After discovering the reason behind the contact, Rina wasn't as shocked as she should have been.

The Jewish population of L.A.'s West Valley had been rocked by hate crimes in the past, culminating in that hideous ordeal a couple of years ago when a subspecies of human life had gotten off the public bus and had shot up the Jewish Community Center. The center had been and still was a refuge for all people, offering everything from toddler day camps to dance movements to exercise classes for the elderly. Miraculously, no one had been killed -- there. But the monster -- who had later in the day committed the atrocious act of murder -- had injured several children and had left the entire area with numbing fears that maybe it could happen again. Since then, many of the L.A. Jews took special precautions to safeguard their people and their institutions. Extra locks were put on the doors of the centers and synagogues. Rina's shul, a small rented storefront, had even gone so far as to padlock the Aron Kodesh -- the Holy Ark that housed the sacred Torah scrolls.

The police had phoned Rina because her number was the one left on the shul's answering machine -- for emergencies only. She was the synagogue's unofficial caretaker -- the buck-stops-here person who called the contractors when a pipe burst or when the roof leaked. Because it was a new congregation, its members could only afford a part-time rabbi. The congregants often pitched in by delivering a Shabbos sermon or sponsoring an after-prayer kiddush. People were always more social when food was served. The tiny house of worship had lots of mettle, and that made the dreadful news even harder to digest.

Driving to the destination, Rina was a mass of anxiety and apprehension. Nine in the morning and her stomach was knotted and burning. The police hadn't described the damage, other than use the word vandalize over and over. From what she could gather, it sounded more like cosmetic mischief than actual constructional harm, but maybe that was wishful thinking.

She passed homes, stores, and strip malls, barely glancing at the scenery. She straightened the black tam perched atop her head, tucking in a few dangling locks of ebony hair. Even under ordinary circumstances, she rarely spent time in front of the mirror. This morning, she had rushed out as soon as she hung up the phone, wearing the most basic of clothing -- a black skirt, a white long-sleeved shirt, slip-on shoes, a head covering. At least her blue eyes were clear. There had been no time for her makeup; the cops were going to see the uncensored Rina Decker. The red traffic lights seemed overly long, because she was so antsy to get there.

The shul meant so much to her. It had been the motivating factor behind selling Peter's old ranch and buying their new house. Because hers was a Sabbath-observant Jewish home, she had wanted a place of worship that was within walking distance -- real walking distance, not something two and a half miles away as Peter's ranch had been. It wasn't that she minded the walk to her previous shul, Yeshivat Ohavei Torah, and the boys certainly could make the jaunt, but Hannah, at the time, had been five. The new house was perfect for Hannah, a fifteen-minute walk, plus there were plenty of little children for her to play with. Not many older children, but that didn't matter, since her older sons were nearly grown. Shmueli had left for Israel, and Yonkie, though only in eleventh grade, would probably spend his senior year back east, finishing yeshiva high school while simultaneously attending college. Peter's daughter, Cindy, was now a veteran cop, having survived a wholly traumatic year. Occasionally, she'd eat Shabbat dinner with them, visiting her little sister -- a thrill since Cindy had grown up an only child. Rina was the mother of a genuine blended family, though sometimes it felt more like genuine chaos.

Her heartbeat quickened as she approached the storefront. The tiny house of worship was in a building that also rented space to a real estate office, a dry cleaners, a nail salon, and a take-out Thai café. Upstairs were a travel agency and an attorney who advertised on late-night cable with happy testimonials from former clients. Two black-and-white cruisers had parked askew, taking up most of the space in the minuscule lot, their light bars alternately blinking out red and blue beams. A small crowd had gathered in front of the synagogue, but through them, Rina could see hints of a freshly painted black swastika.

Her heart sank.

She inched her Volvo into the lot and parked adjacent to a cruiser. Before she even got out of the car, a uniform was waving her off. He was a thick block of a man in his thirties. Rina didn't recognize him, but that didn't mean anything because she didn't know most of the uniformed officers in the Devonshire station. Peter had transferred there as a detective, not a patrol cop.

The officer was saying, "You can't park here, ma'am."

Rina rolled down the window. "The police called me down. I have the keys to the synagogue."

The officer waited; she waited.

Rina said, "I'm Rina Decker, Lieutenant Decker's wife..."

Instant recognition. The uniformed officer nodded by way of an apology, then muttered, "Kids!"

"Then you know who did it?" Rina got out of the car.

The officer's cheeks took on color. "No, not yet. But..."

Table of Contents

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Forgotten (Peter Decker and Rina Lazarus Series #13) 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 28 reviews.
dulcibelle on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
One of the better Decker and Rina novels, Faye Kellerman still has what it takes to write a gripping mystery/police procedural. While character development continues to be her strong suit, Kellerman gets the details right too.This is the 13th installment in this series, but you don't need to read the first 12 to enjoy this story or understand the characters. Kellerman finds logical ways to re-introduce material from earlier stories that is needed for continuity. Even if you've never read a Decker and Rina book, you'll be able to follow this one.The story starts with the Deckers' synagogue being vandalized. Soon, the kid who vandalized the synagogue is killed, as is his shrink. Decker, with Rina's help, has to figure out what the connection is.A very enjoyable read.
miyurose on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Though I've been reading her husband's books for years, I'd never read a Faye Kellerman book. I picked up this for cheap at the book fair and decided to give it a shot. I didn't realize it was the 13th in a series! There was obviously back story, but I don't feel like I was missing too much. The book itself was pretty good. I found myself fairly engrossed by the end. I wasn't expecting to finish it last night, but before I knew it, I was done!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I couldn’t go to sleep until I finished this book! I can’t get into series #12 I haven’t even got into it!! But this one it the BEST! I could not put it down now onto #14!!!
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
another lousy faye kellerman... don't waste your time or money!
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Have read nearly all Kellerman's books and enjoyed the books as well as learning about the customs of the Jewish faith - however this book has crude sexual references so often its as if Ms Kellerman has suddenly changed her style or someone else wrote the book for her. I am hesitant to try another of her books at this point.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
The Forgotten by Faye Kellerman is a complex mystery story in the Peter Decker and Rina Lazarus saga.Rina Decker-Lazarus synagogue has been vandalized by Ernersto Golding, a rich troubled teenage, who is haunted by the past act of his grandfather Isaac Golding. And LPDA Liuteneant Peter Decker is called to work in the case.After Ernesto Golding confession and truly repentance, he is sent to psycological treament with Dr. Melvin Baldwin.During Ernesto treatment program at an exclusive nature camp, he and Dr. Baldwin are brutally murdered. These unexpected murders lead the Decker-Lazarus family to a world of privileged kids, neglected parents, hategroups and painful past generation memories. Futhermore, Lt. Decker has to comfront his own family issues with his troubled stepson, Jacob Lazarus, whose past crazy days make him an important piece to unravel the mistery.The Forgotten is a very excited and suspenceful novel. Also, it addresses our modern society problems as the dysfunctional family dynamic and the teenage culture of drugs, sex, and inapropiate behaviors in a very accurate way.This my fisrt Faye Kellerman book and what keept me more interested was the unexpected turn and twist. Even though the author left some unstated facts, I loved the end. It was very compelling. The Forgotten worth the pain!
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Guest More than 1 year ago
For the most part, this was an exciting and good book, dealing with both the Holocaust and with modern bias crimes. It's just a bit unrealistic that one of the villains just so happens to be the one that helped to mess up the Deckers' son. Some people might find the ending to be a let-down because it's a little strange, but honestly, flukes do happen. I didn't think that detracted much from the book.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I liked this book, though many people on the reviews didn't. I haven't finished it, so my mind may change once i approach the ending.
Guest More than 1 year ago
An intriguing premise deteriorates into a forgettable ending. In fact, I'm not even sure about the motivations of any of the "villains"; they are introduced briefly and, in several cases, never met again. I was left with a variety of unanswered questions about who did what to whom and why. Even Rina seems like a minor character in her own novel. This is the first and last book by this author I will read, and I usually enjoy this type of story.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I am an avid Faye Kellerman book reader, I've read ALL of her novels, except for Stone Kiss...The Forgotten was really good through the entire reading...UNTIL it reached the ending...I thought the bad guy was going to get caught, instead of the way it occurred...The book is a page turner, but the ending could have been improved upon.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I recommended this on and stalker! they are great! You will never want to put it down.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This was the 1st Kellerman book i have read. The book was slow at first, but then i couldnt put it down. It was easy to read and had very descriptive characters, but some parts i had to read over again to understand what was going on. I couldnt wait to read the ending, and was SO DISAPPOINTED. This is the FIRST book where i think the MOVIE WOULD ACTUALLY BE BETTER. I was stuck feeling i wasted my time on what i thought was going to be a GREAT book.
Guest More than 1 year ago
The strength of The Forgotten is Peter and Rina - great characters that you become a part of. Thoroughly enjoyable read.