Review: Dennis Palumbo introduces clinical psychologist Daniel Rinaldi, who may have been the intended target when a patient of his is murdered in the parking garage near his car, in Mirror Image.
Kevin Merrick had been referred to Rinaldi by the Pittsburgh police department, after spending six months in a psychiatric ward following a crime in which he was the victim. Rinaldi was making progress with Kevin, but was also troubled that Kevin had taken to dressing like him, even stealing items from his office to take as his own. One evening following a session, Rinaldi leaves his office only to discover Kevin lying next to his car, fatally stabbed in the chest. The police initially believe Rinaldi may have been the target — in the darkness of the garage, the killer could have easily mistaken Kevin for Rinaldi — but later come to a different conclusion. It turns out Kevin was the son of Miles Wingfield ("Personal worth conservatively estimated at six to seven billion [dollars]"), and that Kevin may have been the intended target after all. From Rinaldi's sessions with Kevin, he knew the dead man had an estranged sister, Karen. "If Kevin's murder did have something to do with who his father was, did that mean Karen — wherever she was — might be next? Unless this whole investigation had begun too late, and she was already dead ..."
Mirror Image is a strong start to this series, with a multi-faceted lead character that readers will want to know more about. The supporting cast is well rounded, with characters appropriate to the primary storyline (though it isn't clear which of these may be recurring in future books; almost certain to return will be Noah Frye, a paranoid schizophrenic and close friend of Rinaldi, who works at a waterfront bar retrofitted from a coal barge.) If anything, the weakness here is that the murder mystery itself is somewhat overplotted, with numerous twists that, while not all of which are entirely unexpected, some of which border on the contrived. Still, few readers are likely to be disappointed with the outcome, Mirror Image being, in the end, an intelligent and most enjoyable mystery.
Acknowledgment: Dennis Palumbo provided a copy of Mirror Image for this review.
Review Copyright © 2010 — Hidden Staircase Mystery Books — All Rights Reserved
Selected reviews of other mysteries by this author …
Poisoned Pen Press (Hardcover), May 2013
ISBN-13: 9781464201295; ISBN-10: 1464201293
Location(s) referenced in Mirror Image: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
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Mirror Image by Dennis Palumbo — A Daniel Rinaldi Mystery
Publisher: Poisoned Pen Press
Publication Date: August 2010
List Price: $24.95
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Page Author: Lance Wright
Site Publisher: Mysterious Reviews
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