Yet another wonderful installment of the Martin Preuss mystery series. This may be the shortest of the books, but it doesn’t skimp on story, character, or rich detail. As with Donald’s previous books, this story was engaging, vibrant, and filled with twists and turns. There were several occasions when I thought I knew where the end would take me, and I was wrong. I love being wrong. The twist presented in the final act had my head reeling and made me flip back a few chapters to find out how I had missed the clues. I didn’t mind that, though, the writing here is just that exquisite… re-reading passages was quite delightful.
I'm not normally a fan of this genre. It's not usually they type of book that I gravitate toward, but I enjoy the detective stories that Donald crafts. Each character is clearly interconnected, and in ways we don't often see right away. The plot itself is created in much the same way. Connecting pieces of a larger puzzle revealing secrets and also presenting clues that lay right before us... clues that we don't see because they hide in plain sight. When reading a Martin Pruess mystery, one gets the distinct impression that Donald has diligently done his homework. The police procedures, dialogue, jargon, and interactions between police, private investigators, and even the supporting cast are real, sincere, and cleverly presented.
Again, in this novel, we learn more about Martin through his close relationship with his son, Toby. There is a special bond between the two… but the best part about their relationship for me, is that in each instance that we see them interact, we learn about layers of Martin that we didn’t know were there before, and in each instance, it’s a beautiful surprise. On each occasion that Martin has with Toby, he invariably is led to a moment of clarity with the case he’s working on. It’s almost as if time with Toby is a meditation for Martin, to help him process the details, and perhaps a “normal” home life might not allow for this type of discovery.
I love that each of these books are microcosms unto themselves, and each is also connected to each of the other novels in the series. This means that each book is a wonderful adventure unto itself, as well as a beautifully connected adventure, one to the other.
I’m sincerely looking forward to reading the sixth installment, “Cold Dark Lies”, which will be launched on May 11, at the Color & Ink Studio in Hazel Park, Michigan.
Visit Donald Levin’s website HERE.
Highly Recommended: Five Stars
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