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Connecticut River Valley, New England, United States

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Review: Undiplomatic Murder

Undiplomatic Murder Undiplomatic Murder by Donald Bain
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

When Margaret Truman died it was a blow to her fans--we thought like Uris and Michener and others that her death meant the death of her Capital Crime series. Happily, Donald Bain has taken over and he does not disappoint. This, the most recent of the series, revolves around Robert Brixton, former cop, dissatisfied PI and now an Agent for a private investigative firm serving the Department of State in Washington, DC, a city he hates. Divorced, recently having broken up with his long-time girlfriend, he lives in a small apartment where he receives a call from his younger of two daughters. She is a free spirit who is part of a small music scene and wants to convince him to invest in a scheme for an app developed by her current boyfriend, a member of a rock band. They agree to meet for lunch at an outdoor café. While they are talking and eating, a young girl of Middle Eastern appearance sits at an adjoining table with a blond white American male, who, after drinking half a glass of lemonade and whispering several times in the girl's ear abruptly leaves. Robert's professional antennae are aroused and he suddenly urges his daughter to get up and depart with him. She is confused and while he rushes away from the patio she pauses to gather her things and grab another shrimp. As Robert turns to call her to him a bomb goes off knocking him to the ground and killing her and several others instantly. As the chaos develops around him, he sees the blond man, chases him into an alley and shoots him dead. As a result, Robert is put on paid leave and in his grief and confusion he determines that he will find the perpetrator of the blast and bring him to justice as the murderer of his daughter. The ensuing investigation with many twists and turns leads him in many interesting and seemingly unconnected directions. As with all of this books of this series, the characters are so well defined and the conversations so well written that one feels like another person in the scene. The two characters that Truman focused on were Mac and Annabelle Mackenzie and they do make several appearances in this tale as well. They are not as integral to Bain's installments and I miss them. There is hope at the end of the book, however, that this may change in the next installment due in August --another month--well in a couple of weeks. I hope that is true, I miss them and want to have them do more than host dinner parties where we all sit out on the balcony of the Watergate overlooking the Potomac.

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