The Theory of Death

The Theory of Death

3.84 (3,183 ratings by Goodreads)
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Now living in upstate New York, former LAPD lieutenant Peter Decker is plunged into a bizarre web involving academia, underworld crime, and calculating killers in this compulsive novel in New York Times bestselling author Faye Kellerman's beloved Decker and Lazarus series.

Former LAPD lieutenant Peter Decker is relishing the quiet and slow pace of his new job with the Greenbury police department. The work is low stress and engaging, and it's been almost a year since the last murder in this sleepy upstate New York town.

Then the body of a nude man is found deep within the woods, shattering Decker's peace. The death appears to be a suicide--a single shot to the head, the gun by his side. But until the coroner's ruling, the scene must be treated as a suspicious crime. Without any personal effects near the body, Decker must dig to uncover his identity, a task made difficult by the department's tight budget and limited personnel. Luckily, Decker gets some unexpected help when his friend and former Greenbury colleague Tyler McAdams calls, looking for a quiet place to study for his law finals.

The investigation takes Decker and McAdams to Kneed Loft College, where they must penetrate the indecipherable upper echelons of mathematics and mathematical prodigies. Beneath the school's rarified atmosphere they discover a sphere of scheming academics, hidden cyphers--and most dangerous of all--a realm of underworld crime that transforms harmless nerds into cold, calculating evil geniuses. It will take all of Decker's experience and McAdams's brains to penetrate enigmatic formulas and codes and solve a dark, twisted crime devised by some brilliant and depraved masterminds.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 448 pages
  • 104 x 188 x 28mm | 249g
  • United States
  • English
  • 0062270222
  • 9780062270221
  • 1,769,275

Back cover copy

It has been almost a year since Greenbury's last murder. Peter Decker, a former lieutenant for LAPD, has enjoyed the slow pace of his new job with the sleepy upstate police department. All that changes when an unidentified, nude male body is found deep within the local woods.

It appears to be a suicide--single shot to the head, gun by his side--but until the coroner makes the final determination, Decker must treat the scene as a suspicious crime. The first thing he must do is identify the body--no easy task. But then Decker gets lucky.

Tyler McAdams, a former Greenbury detective and now a first-year law student, calls Decker, and once he hears about the intriguing case, his attentions shift from statutes to corpses.

When the body is finally identified, Decker and McAdams must penetrate into indecipherable upper echelons of mathematics and mathematical prodigies at Kneed Loft College. It turns out to be a dangerous sphere of scheming academics, secret cyphers, and hidden corruption, where even harmless nerds can morph into cold, calculating geniuses. They will have to employ all of their wits to penetrate enigmatic formulas and codes to solve a dark, twisted tale created by depraved, evil masterminds.
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Review quote

"Kellerman writes with her usual sensitivity [...]. Writing to her strengths, Kellerman shows her customary compasion for isolated souls like Eli and social outliers like his Mennonite farm family."--New York Times Book Review
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Rating details

3,183 ratings
3.84 out of 5 stars
5 24% (752)
4 44% (1,391)
3 27% (851)
2 5% (159)
1 1% (30)
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