A Brock and Kolla Mystery by Barry Maitland
Review: DCI David Brock and newly promoted DI Kathy Kolla of the Scotland Yard Serious Crimes Unit are assigned to investigate the death of a graduate student at the London Library in Dark Mirror, the 10th mystery in this series by Barry Maitland.
Marion Summers collapsed and died in a reading room. The pathologist attributed the cause to arsenic poisoning. Although her death could have been suicide, it seems highly unlikely: arsenic is now a rare poison and is no longer readily available. And Marion was two months pregnant. Brock and Kolla's investigation is thwarted from the beginning because so little information is forthcoming about the dead woman. She had vacated the apartment at the address she had given months before, leaving no forwarding address. As an undergraduate student, she had given her aunt's name and address in Scotland as a contact. But her aunt knows nothing about her current status, but does give Brock and Kolla the name and address of her mother and step-father in London. They, too, say they know nothing of Marion's private life. Even Marion's life as a graduate student is something of a mystery. Her professor believed that Marion had assisted an author in obtaining material for her book, by possibly plagiarizing another work, but the author knows little of the source. Kolla takes the lead here and the more she looks into the information they have been given, the less she seems to know. More and more a tangled web is weaved, making this first case that Kolla heads a very complex case indeed.
Dark Mirror is a mystery filled with twists and turns. Central to the story is Marion Summers, an intelligent young woman without a close family or public social life, an enigma to those who know her. The solution to her murder lies in understanding the woman herself, and Kolla isn't sure she's up to the task. There's a sense of fallibility here that endears her to the reader. Fans of the series will appreciate how the characters are evolving. Dark Mirror isn't a fast-paced novel, but one that draws the reader into its nooks and crannies, much like the unusual and rarefied setting of the murder, the London Library.
Special thanks to guest reviewer Betty of The Betz Review for contributing her review of Dark Mirror.
Acknowledgment: Minotaur Books provided a copy of Dark Mirror for this review.
Review Copyright © 2009 — Hidden Staircase Mystery Books — All Rights Reserved
Selected reviews of other mysteries by this author …
All My Enemies
Minotaur Books (Trade Paperback), September 2009
ISBN-13: 9780312384005; ISBN-10: 0312384009
Minotaur Books (Hardcover), October 2011
ISBN-13: 9780312600662; ISBN-10: 0312600666
Location(s) referenced in Dark Mirror: London, England
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Dark Mirror by Barry Maitland — A Brock and Kolla Mystery
Publisher: Minotaur Books
Publication Date: September 2009
List Price: $24.99
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Page Author: Lance Wright
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