ONE MAN’S TRUTH IS ANOTHER MAN’S LIE.
When big-shot literary agent Peter Katz receives an unfinished manuscript entitled The Book of Mirrors, he is intrigued.
The author, Richard Flynn is writing a memoir about his time at Princeton in the late 80s, documenting his relationship with the famous Professor Joseph Wieder.
One night in 1987, Wieder was brutally murdered in his home and the case was never solved.
Peter Katz is hell-bent on getting to the bottom of what happened that night twenty-five years ago and is convinced the full manuscript will reveal who committed the violent crime.
But other people’s recollections are dangerous weapons to play with, and this might be one memory that is best kept buried.
I received a free copy of this book courtesy of the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
As soon as I saw this book come up on NetGalley, I requested the opportunity to read and review it, and eagerly awaited what I hoped would be an acceptance email. Luckily for me, it pinged into my inbox, and I downloaded the eBook to my Kindle ready to go as soon as I finished the book I was already on. And I have to say, I was not disappointed.
I love a well-written, interesting crime mystery. But too many seem to stick to a cliched approach that feels a little like flogging a dead donkey. Okay, I get it, sometimes authors want to play it safe to get the sales, but come on people, think outside the box! Thankfully, Chirovici has done just that with The Book of Mirrors.
Literary agent Peter Katz receives part of a manuscript for a book, a memoir so it seems, of the author, Richard Flynn, and his time at Princeton. It follows his relationships and his intimate knowledge and experience surrounding the murder of big-shot psychiatric professor Joseph Wieder. Katz reads the partial book, which frustratingly ends before every truly revealing who committed such a heinous act.
The first part of the book starts off with Katz reading the manuscript, which we are almost reading over his shoulder. Once he reaches the end of the teaser, he tries to contact Richard Flynn, who sadly passed away before sending the rest of the manuscript. This leads into the second part of the book, told from the perspective of journalist John Keller.
Katz contacts John Keller with a proposition; to track down the rest of the manuscript, solve a decades-old crime and help bring what could become a bestselling true-crime novel in the process. Leveraging all his contacts and nous, Keller embarks on a manhunt through time to uncover the truth. But the task seems a loss, as this tale of the fragility of human recollection throws up many more questions, but no answers at all. On his search, we encounter retired police officer Roy Freeman who investigated the murder.
And this is where we enter part three. After meeting with John Keller and answering his questions, Roy Freeman cannot shake the unsolved crime from his mind. It consumes him, pushing him to find an answer, even after Keller has given up. Freeman digs deeper, following hunches until he finally uncovers the mystery and solves the murder of Professor Joseph Wieder.
I loved the mystery woven into this book, and the three perspectives added something I haven’t come across before. The three key characters of Katz, Keller and Freeman are well developed and likeable, flaws and all. The differing accounts given in Richard Flynn’s manuscript and from the core suspects in the murder add to the overriding theme of the book – that memory isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. Time and perception can change and distort how we recall things, making memory inherently unreliable. The Book of Mirrors is, to use a cliche, a book I couldn’t put down, a multi-layered and complex crime thriller made all the more impressive as this is the Romanian author’s first book written in English.
The Book of Mirrors will be published on 12th January 2017