Sacred and Profane
|23 October 1987|
|Media type||Print (hardback & paperback)
|Preceded by||The Ritual Bath|
|Followed by||Milk and Honey|
Decker had taken the boys on a camping vacation when Sammy wandered off and found two burned and buried skeletons. Peter finds himself assigned the case, in spite of his status in the Sex and juvie division, due to an unexpected lack in departmental manpower. When starting the case after Christmas, he is introduced to forensic dentist Annie Hennon, who helps identify the victims as Lindsey Bates and "Countess Dracula". Tracking down where they might have been and who they may have been involved with leads to photographer Cecil Pode and his sons, Dustin and Earl Pode (Dustin being in business with Earl's friend, Cameron Smithson, and his father, Harrison Smithson). Earl Pode (aka Blade) is found dead in the same grave as the girls, and Decker finds that his best friend Cameron is the culprit. The case takes a toll on his Talmud studies with Rav Schulman at the yeshiva and strains his relationship with Rina. Because of the stress of their maybe/maybe not marital path, at the end of the book Rina moves to New York City with her former in-laws so that they can both concentrate on preparing themselves for the future, her to take a job in a relative's company to stop feeling like a charity case, he to continue his Talmudic studies and decide if he really can lead the religious life for himself and not just her.