Monday, 27 September 2010

Canadian Mystery

Finished September 26
This Thing of Darkness by Barbara Fradkin
This is part of a series of novels featuring Inspector Green of the Ottawa police, but the first one that I've read. The story starts with the discovery of the body of an elderly man, beaten brutally to death.
At first police suspect a mugging that got too violent, as the body seems stripped of valuables, down to the shoes. When the victim is identified as a retired psychiatrist whose work was considered controversial, more scenarios look possible.
There are recent changes to his will that may have raised ire or expectations. There is a mysterious young woman who visited the victim regularly. There was a recent break-in at his home where papers and records including the will were taken.
We see most of the story from Green's viewpoint, but there are also a couple of minor characters for whom we also have brief insights. One of them is a young Somali-Canadian, Omar, seemingly nonviolent, but with a scary gap in his memory. The other is Green's young wife, a psychiatric nurse.
There are interesting characters, and no clear good and bad. The themes of mental illness are interesting and invite discussion. An intriguing mystery.

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