Trick of the Dark
P.O. Box 3671, Anne Arbor, MI 48106
978932859959 $24.95, 734-662-8815, bywaterbooks.com
As the book opens, Dr. Charlotte ["Charlie"] Flint finds her professional life as a forensic psychiatrist in tatters, her reputation destroyed, and awaiting a hearing by the General Medical Council to decide whether or not she can be reinstated as an expert in her field.
Magdalene ["Magda"] Newsam, a pediatric oncologist, is a 28-year-old woman whose husband was killed on their wedding night, attending the trial of her husband's partners for his murder. One of the two hubs of this book is Magda's mother, Corinna Newsam, who was Charlie's tutor while an undergraduate at St. Scholastika's College, Oxford University, which is the other point around which all else revolves. Each of the characters' ties to Corinna and Oxford have shaped their lives to this point. As is the case also with Jay Stewart, wildly successful businesswoman in the throes of writing her second memoir following her first bestseller, the point of view throughout the book variously that of the three younger women.
Corinna asks Charlie to investigate whether, as she suspects, Jay Stewart had something to do with her son-in-law's death, mostly due to the fact that Jay is now romantically involved with Magda. Seeking redemption, Charlie agrees. As the solution drew near, the feeling that I knew what lay ahead didn't diminish the suspense or the intricacy of the plot. And, of course, I was completely wrong in my expectations.
Few of the characters in the book are male; few of the romantic relationships/entanglements are heterosexual, a fact noteworthy only in the prejudices thereby aroused in others which are essential to the plot. The novel, though somewhat lengthy, is an absorbing and worthy addition to Ms. McDermid's past novels, and is recommended.
Dying for Justice
1755 Lorane Hwy., Eugene, OR 97405
9780983213833 $13.99, 541 342 7349, spellbinderpress.com
Detective Wade Jackson, with the violent crimes unit of the Eugene, Oregon Police Department, An investigator with the best track record of closing cases, he has never worked a cold case before. In the fifth and newest entry in this terrific series, he is faced with two of them, one in particular of a very personal nature: the murder of his parents, ten years earlier. Convinced that the man who has been imprisoned for the crime, now terminally ill with cancer...