Hand for a Hand
An Andy Gilchrist Mystery by Frank Muir
Review: DCI Andy Gilchrist is on a search for a killer, who is sending severed parts of a young woman's body to him, in Hand for a Hand, the second mystery — though the first to be published in the US — in this series by Frank Muir.
The first envelope includes the dismembered right hand and a single word: "Murder!". Andy suspects someone is sending a message specifically to him and fears the worst: his son's live-in girlfriend, Chloe, has been missing for several days. Both are artists, Jack a sculptor and Chloe a painter in oil. When the coroner finds traces of yellow oil paint under the nails of the severed hand, Andy knows the worst is yet to come. Chloe's left hand is found a few days later holding just a piece of paper with the word "massacre" printed on it. Andy is at a loss to explain why someone seems to be targeting him until he realizes that Chloe's murder may lead to one of someone even closer to him, his daughter Maureen.
Hand for a Hand is a spellbinding thriller. The primary murder mystery storyline is paired with subplots involving Andy's personal and professional life. A hard drinking man, who largely neglected his family, he lost his wife to another man and is estranged from his children. Now she is dying and he realizes, too late, that he still loves her. His attempts to reconcile with his children are complicated with the murder of Chloe. And in his investigation, he is partnered with a man with whom he has had a very difficult past, a man he truly despises. The Scottish setting and vividly drawn scenes make for a strong backdrop to this compelling murder mystery.
Special thanks to guest reviewer Betty of The Betz Review for contributing her review of Hand for a Hand.
Acknowledgment: Soho Press provided an ARC of Hand for a Hand for this review.
Review Copyright © 2012 — Hidden Staircase Mystery Books — All Rights Reserved
Location(s) referenced in Hand for a Hand: Scotland
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Hand for a Hand by Frank Muir — An Andy Gilchrist Mystery
Publisher: Soho Crime
Publication Date: November 2012
List Price: $25.00