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The Face Of The Assassin by David Lindsey

Publisher: Warner Brothers Publications ISBN: 044652929X

Reviewed by Narayan Radhakrishnan

David Lindsey, the critically acclaimed author of The Color of the Night, and the more recent The Rules of Silence, comes another hotshot thriller, The Face of the Assassin, that to say the least was one hellofabook.

I am not a dedicated Lindsey fan, save for The Rules of Silence I havenít read any other work of the author- and I guess, its time for me to join the Lindsey reader club.

The protagonist, Paul Bern is a forensic artist. His job is to put skin and color and reconstruct a body, a face from usually just a skull. Bern enjoys his job and takes each assignment as a challenge- and thus helps the police solve crimes as well as put names to unidentified dead bodies. All this change when a young lady approaches him one night with a parcel- a skull. Paul goes to work and soon gets the shock of his life- the face he puts to the skull, looks exactly like him. Paul decides to investigate and he soon finds out that the skull is in fact of that of his twin (a brother he did not know before), a CIA agent, Jude Lerner, who was murdered while in the thick of things to bring to book a dreaded terrorist, Ghazi Baida. The bad guys donít know that Lerner is dead, and so Paul begins to don the role of Lerner- to bring Baida to book. What follows is thrilling action that would thrill and enthrall the suspense reader.

All in all a great book- and to those who have already read it- didnít it remind you of the movie Face ĖOff? Loved it, tremendously loved it.


MURDER IS ACADEMIC by Christine Poulson

 Publisher: St. Martin's Minotaur ISBN: 0312318073

Reviewed by Donna Padilla

Literature professor Cassandra James pays a visit to Margaret Joplin, the chair of her department, and finds her dead in the swimming pool.  While sorting through the dead woman's papers she finds love letters from a female student who recently died in an accident.  Cassandra then confronts Rebecca, a student guilty of plagiarizing one of her own published works.  In fear of being asked to leave school, Rebecca threatens to expose the connection between Margaret and the student, then she is attacked and later dies.  Cassandra decides to disclose all she knows to police detective Jim Ferguson.

Literature buffs will enjoy all the references and quotations woven throughout the book.  However, being written in the first person, most characters are not fleshed out with solid personalities, making for a bit of dryness.  And the clues take a very serpentine route through the plot, and can sometimes be a bit muddled, leading to just a smidgeon of confusion.  But all in all, for an amateur sleuth read, this mildly satisfies.


The Tumbler by Peter Bowen

Publisher: St. Martin's Minotaur ISBN: 0312277334 

Reviewed by Donna Padilla

Gabriel Du Pre is a Metis Indian, a fiddler, and a puzzle solver.  When it becomes known that Gabriel and his medicine man friend, Benetsee, have somehow gotten hold of journals and artifacts from the Lewis and Clark expedition, outsiders become interested and begin trying to get Du Pre to sell. And when a reporter shows up and dogs his trail and his bass player is severely beaten, Du Pre is driven to find out who is behind it all. 

Peter Bowen has written a masterful novel about the way of life in rural Montana.  The main character is a man of few words who does not rest until the final puzzle piece falls into place.  This book is filled with all the action that makes a mystery novel come to life -- murder, kidnapping, crooked government agents, and the mystic powers of a shaman.  The plot is carefully and tightly woven and contains a good bit of humor.  This is one in a series, and the reader will absolutely want the pleasure of reading the other Gabriel Du Pre novels.