Saturday, March 8, 2008

Trick of the Mind-Cassandra Chan

Trick of the Mind
Cassandra Chan
St. Martin's, Apr 2008, $24.95
ISBN 9780312369392

Affluent Phillip Bethancourt congratulates his best friend New Scotland Yard Detective Sergeant Jack Gibbons on his transfer into The Arts Theft Division after working homicides. In fact the pair worked a couple of cases together (see THE YOUNG WIDOW and VILLAGE AFFAIRS).

However, his accolades turn sour when someone shoots Jack. Phillip assumes the shooting of his friend is tied to his new police work; most likely Jack's investigation into an antique jewelry robbery in which the detective sergeant was getting close to solving. As Jack slowly heals, Phillip quietly arranges with Police Detective Chief Inspector Carmichael to share information as the amateur sleuth makes inquires into who shot his friend and why.

The key to this strong whodunit is that Jack is not running around town like a superhero, but instead is gradually recuperating from his wounds and is in no shape to search for clues; instead the collaboration is refreshed by Jack’s boss working with Bethancourt. The investigation is fun to follow and a final twist adds a great climax to the strong story line. Readers will appreciate the inquiries as Phillip escorts the audience on a rare tour of a part of London that seemingly never appears in literature.

Harriet Klausner

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