Milk and Honey (novel)
Milk and Honey is a 1990 novel by Faye Kellerman, published by William Morrow and Company as part of the Peter Decker/Rina Lazarus series. It takes place about eighteen months after Sacred and Profane, when Decker is 41, in Los Angeles, in the Foothill Division of the LAPD.
Decker finds a toddler with blood-soaked pajamas in the early morning hours while driving home from the yeshiva. He brings her in to the station to turn her over to child services and starts trying to locate the family she came from. His only clue is a number of bee stings. Pete also finds himself posting bail for an old Army buddy of his (Abel Atwater) who had been charged with rape and assault. Abel offers to do repair work on his barn while Pete is off locating the girl's family. In the meantime, Rina is flying in from New York City for a visit for some alone time and to discuss their upcoming marriage. While backtracking clues in the found toddler's case he finds the family home is the site of a quadruple murder and that her name is Katie Darcy. Decker has to slog through a lot of peripheral clues in the case, including a biker bar and a backwoods section of Los Angeles County. His partner Marge Dunn ends up dealing further with one of the potential parents of Katie whose own child was kidnapped in a custody case. She remembered the face and succeeded in putting a name to it. In a raid on the father's house she gets her skull cracked and is lucky to come out of it alive. Meanwhile, Rina and Abel have found an odd sort of relationship based on his and Decker's mutual past and Abel's bitterness over happenings during the war. He ends up frightening and offending her greatly though she does forgive him in the end. In finding the murderer of Katie's family and clearing Abel's name Decker finds an odd parallel in family circumstance.
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