- File Size: 925 KB
- Print Length: 307 pages
- Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
- Publisher: Blackstone Press (January 9, 2017)
- Publication Date: January 9, 2017
- Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
- Language: English
- ASIN: B01N2127GP
- Text-to-Speech: Enabled
- Word Wise: Enabled
- Lending: Enabled
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #791,910 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
THE COUNTERFEIT TWIN: A Socrates Cheng mystery (Socrates Cheng mysteries Book 3) Kindle Edition
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Now comes Author Steven M. Roth’s riveting but astounding Socrates Cheng novel spotlighting a dark secret affecting the memory of beloved Gen. Robert E. Lee. Socrates Cheng is hired to recover stolen documents from a Richmond, Virginia, Civil War Museum. He must complete his investigation and document recovery in an almost undercover fashion so as not to reveal the dark secret that Gen. Lee’s twin brother was black.
The storyline has many intricate turns to include murder for which Cheng is falsely accused. Connecting the dots of the investigation furnishes the reader with a wealth of historical history of what transpired during “The War Between the States.” Included is an in depth analysis of the history and customs of the “Old South.”
This is one of those detective stories that maintains your suspense until the very end. Once you begin reading, you will find that you cannot put it down until you come to its surprising denouement.
This being Book 3 of the Socrates Cheng mysteries we continue to marvel at the unique cases in which our curios and accurate detective indulges. Steven adds history of the South and the Civil war to this third installment and that works very well indeed. The curiosity of Socrates is apparent in the opening pages – ‘The first time I ever heard that the much revered Confederate general Robert E. Lee was born a black slave who passed for white was when I sat across the desk from the director of the Museum of the Golden Knights of the Confederacy in his office in Richmond, Virginia. “You’re kidding,” I said. “Do I sound like I’m kidding, Mr. Cheng?” He didn’t. I shook my head. “Why haven’t I heard this before?” I asked. “I read a lot of Civil War history when I was younger, including some well-respected biographies of Lee. None said anything like that. Didn’t even hint at it.” “Of course not. There are only eight people alive who know this secret,” the director said. “Seven trustees of the Museum and me.” “Nine then, including me.” “Point taken, Suh. Nine.” The circumstance leading to my meeting with the director began when he called to ask me to come to Richmond to meet with him. He wouldn’t tell me why on the phone. He only said he believed I would be intrigued by the case he wanted me to investigate on behalf of the Museum. Although I ordinarily would not have driven several hours to meet with a potential new client on a speculative case without first knowing more about it, these days, with the economy still soft and our PI business down, my partner — Ralph Harte — and I could use the work. So I drove the ninety-plus miles from Washington to Richmond, and entered the director’s office at the appointed hour….“Everything you need to know to get started, Mr. Cheng, can be found in the files on that memory drive,” he said, tilting his head toward the tiny object sitting between us. He spread his hands, palms up, in what seemed to be a well-rehearsed gesture of resignation….“There was a burglary here at the Museum, Mr. Cheng, the night before last.”And so the mystery begins to unfold.
Steven offers a synopsis that outlines the area the novel covers – ‘When Socrates Cheng is hired by a Civil War museum to investigate a burglary and to recover stolen documents, he comes face-to-face with the most perilous and controversial investigation of his career as he learns that the documents contain an explosive and deadly secret: that revered Confederate General Robert E. Lee was born a black slave who passed for white. Pressed hard by the museum to recover the documents before their incendiary content becomes public, and suspected by homicide cops of having committed murder in the course of his investigation, Socrates races to protect the museum’s most closely guarded secret and to establish his own innocence.’
Reading this third installment of the Socrates Cheng series develops a need to read the entire series – and that is a solid sign that Steven M. Roth is a novelist of significance. Grady Harp, February 18
I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book.
As I am a passionate reader of Civil War history, this was right up my proverbial alley. Despite being well read in the genre, I learned some interesting new tidbits about the slave-holding South. One of the joys of reading a Roth mystery is learning about other cultures and fascinating historic details in context.
Socrates Cheng, born of a Chinese father and Greek mother, is understandably entwined in two cultures, but the substance of this book is the culture and history of the Old South. In THE COUNTERFEIT TWIN, the real gems were revelations—some real and some perceived—from American Civil War history. Roth has a talent for finding a shocking premise that is wholly conceivable. He also did that with this first Trace Austin suspense thriller, NO SAFE PLACE.
There are characters at the end of this latest case whose fates are not resolved. I assume from the open-ended nature of the conclusion that we will see them again as Cheng and his partner, Harte, take on a new case. Socrates closes the case but leaves enough unanswered questions to entice the reader.
I will receive a free copy of THE COUNTERFEIT TWIN in exchange for my honest review.
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A delightful read; I couldn't easily put it down.Read more