Release Date: Feb 28, 2017
Imprint: William Morrow
Rina Lazarus Decker is enjoying a beautiful autumn day at a local Greenbury, New York park. Her relaxing walk is ruined when she discovers human bones in the woods. Her husband, Peter Decker, is a police officer and begins investigating this cold case. Things heat up when the remains of a second body are found and it looks like there could be a connection with reports of missing students from area colleges. Since Rena works for the group of colleges known as “Five Colleges of Upstate”, Decker and his young partner, Tyler McAdams, ask for her help in finding a murderer who could still be at large and a danger to their small community.
I have probably read every book in this long-running series by Faye Kellerman and although I have my favorites, have enjoyed each one. I feel new readers would have no trouble getting to know the main characters and enjoying The Bone Box even without the deep background information that comes from following a series for a long time. Peter Decker is an intelligent detective, loving husband, and wonderful mentor to officers who have reported to him over his long career. He is getting used to the slower pace of working in update New York compared to his former position in Los Angeles, but this case is anything but dull. His beautiful, kind wife Rena is supportive to her husband, but also provides valuable insights into his cases. In some of the more recent books, Rena has been a sounding board for Peter, but it’s good to see her taking a more active role in assisting Peter with the investigation in this book. Although I miss the level of involvement she had in his cases in earlier books in the series, at least Rena is doing more than cooking for her family this time.
In addition to Peter and Rena, Tyler McAdams plays a large part in this book. I initially had reservations because I didn’t really care for him when he was first introduced in this series. However, his more annoying quirks have been toned down and I liked his character in this book. Since the investigation requires the questioning of several college students, Tyler’s youth helps them relate to him better and he is a valuable asset to the investigation. Peter’s former colleagues Scott and Marge play a part in the book as well and it’s great seeing these characters. I hope the author can find a way to continue to work them into future books even though Peter no longer works with them every day. Chris Donetti, the violent father of Peter and Rena’s foster son Gabe, also makes an appearance. Luckily, it’s brief because Donetti has never been one of my favorite characters and I’ve never cared for his tie to the Deckers.
It’s a team effort in solving the cases in this book, and I enjoyed this well-written and evenly paced mystery. Readers who enjoy a great mystery, such as Kathy Reich’s Temperance Brennan series, as well as fans of this series will enjoy The Bone Box.