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Touchstone: A Stuyvesant & Grey Novel Paperback – December 30, 2008
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Mystery/thrillers are definitely outside my main reading diet, but
this novel by the author of the Mary Russell/Sherlock Holmes series was so much fun to read that I slowed way down and took two weeks to read it, and was very sad when it ended. It has terrific characters, and not just the main ones. I was fascinated by Bennett Grey, whose horrific WWI injuries left him so sensitive to the noises, smells and sights around him that it's as if he can read minds, and people who are lying, or evil, cause him severe physical pain. What an interesting change on the Sherlock Holmes syndrome that is -- like an extreme version, only relatively helpless.
If there's any downside to this book it's the English "house party" at a grand estate, that goes on for days and days, recounted in what feels like real time detail over 200 plus pages. Lots of it was wonderful, but it all got to be a bit too much.
I'd love to see a movie, or better, a miniseries, of this. It's got a couple of strong, interesting women characters, along with a great bad guy. And as a mystery/thriller it kept me going almost to the end, guessing at the central puzzle.
I was very happy to realize that there's a second book in what's now a series, and have ordered it and can't wait.
A great yarn about Harris Stuyvesant, an American in England in 1926, years after his WW I service there, who has temporarily left his job as an agent for the US Bureau of Investigation (now the FBI) to find a "mad bomber" who has set several bombs in the US. During his frustrating search for someone to help him in the English governmental bureaucracy, he is put in touch with Bennet Grey, an Englishman who, after being severely injured during his WWI service, is "sensitive" to who is lying and who is not. Stuyvesant and Grey, along with Grey's sister and members of the esteemed Hurleigh family, are caught up in the convergence of several plots: the chase for the political extremist(s) who may be working to foil attempts to settle a Labor strike that threatens to shut down the country, the efforts of another seemingly nefarious governmental official to harness Grey's abilities, with or without his consent, and Stuyvesant's own plot to arrest, or kill, the person(s) responsible for the bomb that severely injured his beloved brother.