From Publishers Weekly
Credible characters and an intriguing plot laced with both humor and political commentary lift Haddam's outstanding 21st Gregor Demarkian novel to feature the retired FBI agent known as the Armenian-American Hercule Poirot (after 2005's The Headmaster's Wife
). Like Agatha Christie or P.D. James, Haddam uses multiple perspectives to portray her central character—Drew Harrigan, a rabid right-wing Philadelphia radio host who will remind many of Rush Limbaugh. Harrigan has been arrested on drug charges, and his conviction would complicate many lives. His alleged supplier, an alcoholic homeless man named Sherman, is also in big trouble. After Sherman turns up apparently poisoned, Demarkian joins the police and DA in investigating an eclectic group of suspects including a lefty academic, Harrigan's producer and Harrigan's sister, who's a member of a religious order. Those new to Haddam will snap up her earlier work based on this captivating literate mystery, which shows how well a classic fair play whodunit can work in a contemporary setting. (May)
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By now, readers of this long-running series (this is the twentieth installment) must be wondering when it will peak and, as most series eventually do, start to slide down the other side of the hill. But this might be one of those series that can keep on going forever. Certainly its lead, retired FBI agent Gregor Demarkian, is as compelling and intriguing as ever. And Haddam's affinity for edgy material--this time, the story involves a right-wing radio shock jock, a Benedictine monastery, and murder--keeps the stories timely and fresh. David PittCopyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved