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.
Worldbuilding:There’s a 1970’s Princeton/New Jersey setting for the Wieder case, and a set of current NY, Missouri settings as the POV changes and the characters investigate. I didn’t get a sense of a particular atmosphere, tbh – except for the Potosi Correctional Center, which stood out for me.
Characters: The multiple-POV brought under the spotlight a few characters, as the one actively investigating the Wieder case/Flynn’s story changed. While they were interesting characters, pretty much all of them, with diverse backgrounds and stories, I didn’t really have an emotional connection with either one. I think my fav was Roy, but then again I have a fondness for detectives, particularly those who’ve screwed up a bit in their personal lives and managed to overcome part or all of those issues.
Plot: Aside the Wieder case, that was a story on its own that grew and became more layered and interesting as POVs changed and we learned more, there were the stories of the POVs themselves evolving as they did the investigating. It was an interesting and complex blend, certainly more intricate than a straight-forward Wieder-case investigation. But while reading things felt a bit static, more character-oriented than action-oriented for sure (hence the more literary feeling of the novel). It wasn’t a downside for me, because I love mysteries and things on that front kept becoming more nuanced and layered and interesting, so my mind was catered to even if my adrenaline level wasn’t.
Writing: First person, past tense narrative, multiple POVs. Can’t say I got a sense of different voices between characters. The style has a nice flow.
Curb Appeal: Cool cover, hooking blurb, but the actual hook for me was the fact that the author is a co-national of mine who’s published nationally and is now making it UK/worldwide. I wanted to read this novel, and I wasn’t disappointed.
I recommend The Books of Mirrors to fans of classic mysteries, with the mellow tempo and interesting twists and turns. In a way, it was a collection of stories about broken hearts, some mended some not, about people dealing with things that hurt them, about how one person perceives something (or someone) versus how others do. I enjoyed the layered view The Books of Mirrors presented, and how it turned an event and the people involved on all sides, revealing all sorts of facets.
I had a really good time reading it!