Rina Lazarus’ relaxing autumn walk through an upscale New York park is ruined when she accidentally finds a box of human bones hidden in the woods.
Calling in reinforcements, Rina’s husband, Peter Decker, a detective with the local police department, begins investigating the cold case with his partner, Tyler McAdams. But things go from bad to worse when a second pile of remains is found nearby, indicating the presence of a serial killer in the area.
As Peter and Tyler (a student at Harvard who is temporarily working with the Greenbury PD) continue to work the case, they suspect the murders may be linked to a number of missing-persons reports, each of which had been filed by various colleges in the area. This new revelation makes Rina, who happens to work for a group of universities called the Five Colleges of Upstate, a vital part of the plot.
While Rina has been there to support Peter in previous books, often spitballing with him while he works his cases and adjusts to life in New York–having recently moved from Los Angeles, where he was a veteran LAPD detective–her role expands considerably in Bone Box. Peter asks her to use her position to quietly help him investigate, which she does by providing a list of all the students who’ve gone missing from the local colleges.
After briefly starting down the wrong path, Peter’s investigation really takes off thanks to the information Rina provides. However, as he gets closer to solving the murders, it becomes clear that they’re no longer just solving a cold case. Instead, they’re chasing a killer who’s still out there and who is likely still killing.
Decker’s pursuit of the serial killer proves tough, as seemingly everyone in the small town of Greenbury is a potential suspect. That list grows when the investigation takes them out of New York, providing a nice change of scenery and a unique way to bring back multiple characters who appeared in past books. As Decker follows multiple leads, the bad guy is eventually exposed, though many readers are likely to see the ending coming.
Fans expecting a high-tension, nail-biting plot will be surprised to find that Kellerman’s latest novel lacks the twists and turns she’s so well known for. The story is more linear, and some of the most emotionally charged moments happen outside of the investigation. Then again, this series is definitely character-driven, and longtime fans will enjoy the inner workings of Rina and Peter’s relationship, as well as their banter with other series regulars.
Author: Faye Kellerman
Series: Decker/Lazarus #24
Pages: 432 (Hardcover)
Publisher: William Morrow
Release Date: February 28, 2017 (Order Now!)