The Eye of the Virgin
Poisoned Pen, Jul 1 2010, $24.95
Callend University instructor Louis Dakis returns to his house that he leases to find someone broke in and turned it upside down as if they searched for something; nothing seemed missing. At about the same time he came home at Picketsville Hospital emergency room nurse Laurie Kratz finds a man waiting for treatment is dead.
Picketsville, Virginia Sheriff Ike Schwartz investigates the break-in to Professor Dakis’ residence when he learns of the dropped off corpse at the ER. Ike searches Dakis’ background for a clue and learns the professor’s estranged wife Lorraine accuses him of wrecking her shop that once was their shop and her boyfriend Franco Sacci has disappeared. Although confused, he begins to see a connection between the two break-ins as the corpse turns out to be Franco AKA Farouk Zaki. CIA Agent Charlie Garland takes an interest in the Dakis’ dealings and collections with a Cold War microdot surfacing and the dead body being on their terrorist watch list.
This is an entertaining regional police procedural with international links. The story line is fast-paced yet contains a personal subplot as Ike and Callend University President Ruth Harris seem ready for the next level in their relationship. Fans of the series will relish this entry as Ike and his department deal with the arrival of Ruth’s mom, the CIA, and a deputy’s pregnancy while trying to solve the widening Dakis cases.