Dark Mirror-Barry Maitland

Dark Mirror
Barry Maitland
Minotaur, Sep 29 2009, $24.99
ISBN 9780312383992

In the London Library, Ph.D. candidate Marion Summers researches nineteenth century Pre-Raphaelite artists when she suddenly crumples and drops dead.  Since Marion suffered from diabetes, the assumption by all who knew her is the disease caused her death.  Recently promoted Detectives Inspector Kathy Kolla leads the official investigation, her first time in charge of a case, though she also expects the medical examiner will determine the cause of death to be related to diabetes.

However, instead the medical examiner finds arsenic inside Summers’ body.  Kolla is in charge of the homicide investigation.  The cop learns Summers was focusing on the use of arsenic and other poisons by the Pre-Raphaelites.  Her theories were upsetting the academic circles as being too way-out.  However, that should not be a motive for murder.  With Detective Chief Inspector Brock’s mentoring, Kolla looks into the personal non-academia life of the victim finding several people who might want to kill her and who had the opportunity to poison her, using ironically what Summers was studying as the means which remains difficult to ascertain.

This is an exciting fresh British police procedural as DI Kolla heads her first investigation as the lead with DCI Brock supporting her.  The story line is fast-paced and filled with plausible twists that enhance the inquiry.  Fans of the series will enjoy this super Kolla-Brock collaboration.

Harriet Klausner

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