Nicholas (nwhyte) wrote,
Nicholas
nwhyte

Dear Old Dead, by Jane Haddam

Second paragraph of third chapter:
Eamon Donleavy had the newspapers spread out across his desk: the Post, the Daily News, even the Times. The only paper that hadn’t played up the story of Michael’s arrest was the Sentinel, and that was Charles van Straadt shielding his personal saint. Eamon did’t know how long the Sentinel’s silence could possibly last. He didn’t know what was going to happen next, either. The centre couldn’t operate without Michael. The center was Michael. Eamon didn’t think that Michael could operate without the center. It was getting as crazy as Michael’s personal life.
Frankie recommended Jane Haddam to me several years ago, and I acquired a few of her books then, and am now getting round to reading them. This is a murder mystery set in a New York private charitable hospital, set in the present day, ie 1994 (Trump Tower is referenced on the second page). The hospital's founder is gay; his sponsors are a combination of a dynastic millionaire and the Catholic Church. The Church calls in Haddam's detective, Gregor Demarkian, to investigate the millionaire's murder. It's pretty clear that the murderer must be one of a very few characters, and I found it a bit implausible that neither the police nor Demarkian approached it in that way, instead waiting for the clues to line up and point in the right direction; and I wasn't totally convinced about the motivation of the murderer, though the means of the crime were resolved rather satisfactorily. However, I really enjoyed the portrayal of the hospital as a social space, the complex interaction between Michael Pride and the Church, and Demarkian's exploration of parts of New York that I myself rarely get to see.

This was the non-genre fiction book that had lingered longest unread on my shelves. Next on that list is Quoth The Raven, by the same author.
Tags: bookblog 2017, writer: jane haddam
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