Gaylord Dold, hailed by Loren D. Estleman as “the best new stylist to enter the crowded field of private-eye fiction, and one of its most daring innovators” brings along another literate and suspenseful adventure for his remarkable sleuth, Mitch Roberts. Roberts is in London “looking for his new life” and “trying to fall in love” with English widow Amanda Smith. He is doing some work for Amanda’s lawyer friend Hillary Root, when Hillary’s Jamaican half brother is found brutally murdered. The crime is a grisly puzzle from the start. The man was in the hospital, well on the way to recovering from the mysterious illness that had put him there, when someone crept into his room and left him covered with blood, a gaping slash across his neck.
Roberts must travel to Jamaica and although his brief trip produces a number of answers as well as insight into the lives of Jamaicans at home and abroad, another murder takes place before Mitch is able to unravel the tight skein of horror and death and to set a strange kind of justice into motion.
A pervasive tone of sadness, born of the protagonist’s loneliness and unrequited love, makes this aggressively somber mystery succeed. Dold painstakingly evokes the Rastafarian culture of Jamaica and London, and as he gradually brings together the life of the accused killer and the death of his victims, he leads the tale to a masterful solution.
This is a novel of lyricism and texture, an intelligent and alarming exploration of the world of the Jamaican rude boys, the world of ganja and rasta and ska, that is grounded in both information and empathy. It will leave you impressed with the author’s talent and enlightened about a world that is known to us only through music.
Author of Fatal Obsession