SERPENT'S TOOTH by Faye Kellerman


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 Why would somebody walk into trendy Estelle's and spray the diners with gunfire, killing 13 of them and wounding 32? Even when the shooter's identified as Harlan Manz, disgruntled former Estelle's bartender, Lt. Peter Decker's not satisfied--especially when forensics start to paint a picture of a second gunman. And that means a plan; it probably means murder for hire, with the first gunman recast as the last victim. But when Decker's team, investigating the dead diners' links to Manz's former employer, the Greenvale Country Club, strike gold--Manz's sometime tennis partner, charity fund-raiser Jeanine Garrison, inherited millions when her parents were killed at Estelle's--the case blows up in their face: Manipulative Jeanine blows hot and cold when Decker questions her, then trumps up a harassment suit against him and succeeds in getting him lifted from the case. Doubly determined to nail her, Decker pulls out all the stops running down possible links between her and the second shooter. Meantime, his loyal wife Rina Lazarus and his daughter Cindy (who's already antagonized her father by announcing that she's been accepted at the Police Academy) huddle with their own freelance operatives to back up his hunch. Anybody care to place a bet on the battle between the Decker family and the oh-so-charming psychopath Jeanine? Nail-biting detective work, though the results rather undermine the suspicions that put Decker on the culprit's scent in the first place. Midlevel Kellerman, not up to Prayers for the Dead (1996), but well ahead of her soapier Decker-Lazarus domestic dramas. (First printing of 175,000)

Pub Date: Aug. 1st, 1997
ISBN: 0-688-14368-7
Page count: 416pp
Publisher: Morrow/HarperCollins
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1st, 1997


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