Saturday, March 29, 2014

A Dead Surgeon, Three Wives, and a Mystery

Dr. John Taylor, a respected physician, who specializes in facial reconstruction for children, is found dead in his hotel room. At first it looks like a simple heart attack, but when the police find two puncture holes in his shoulder, the verdict is wrongful death. When it turns out that he had three wives, and the first wife was orchestrating the menage-a-quatre, murder is likely.

Samantha Adams, a new detective, is assigned to the case. The case consumes her leaving little tume for her live-in boyfriend. He's trying to complete his doctoral dissertation, although not very diligently, and resents Samantha's total involvent in her job.

The plot carries this book. It's hard to imagine how an aging doctor with a busy practice had time to have three wives. It keeps you reading just to understand how he did it. The author presents the point of view of each wife in different chapters. This has the virtue of getting to know their thoughts about their life and their husband, but they do sound alike in many chapters. I realize it's not easy to differentiate the wives when we're in their heads, but it becomes more disconcerting as the book wears on to have them sound so similar.

If you're a murder mystery fan, the identity of the murderer is easy to guess. The author tries to insert red herrings, but in order to be true to the psychology of the wives, she has to drop a lot of hints. I was disappointed in the ending. I felt the author could have done a more creative job of figuring out how it was possible for the murderer to kill the man. It seemed very unlikely that it could have been accomplished the way it was described.

This in an enjoyable book if you concentrate on the unusual character of people who could willingly become involved in a situation like this. I can't recommend it as a mystery.

I reviewed this book for the Amazon Vine Program.