A psychopath’s teenage son falls in love.
Lt. Peter Decker, LAPD, and his wife Rina, a grandma supplying kosher treats to the children and grandkids, have taken on the task of fostering Gabe, a 15-year-old piano prodigy, whose mom has abandoned him and whose dad, hit man Chris Donatti, has settled in Nevada to operate a chain of brothels. After a standoff with a posse of threatening school bullies led by Dylan Lashay, Gabe meets and falls for Yasmine, 14, a Persian Jew and opera aficionado. They keep their romance secret from her Orthodox parents, but text incessantly and meet every morning before school at the Coffee Bean. Decker meanwhile tries to discover why two teens at Bell and Wakefield prep school have committed suicide with stolen guns within six weeks of each other. When Dylan’s main squeeze, the sexually manipulative Cameron, approaches Gabe and he turns her down, her revenge includes bogus cries of rape and a kidnapping at gunpoint. Decker and coppers Dunn and Oliver swoop in and confiscate evidence that will not only support Gabe and Yasmine’s version of what went on but tie Dylan and his hotheads to at least one of the suicides.
Kellerman (Hangman, 2010, etc.) stakes out her claim as the mordant Judy Blume. If you’re not particularly engaged by the sexual arousal of pubescent first-timers, you can skip to the final vignette, which puts the focus back on adult misdemeanors.