The Book of Mirrors E O Chirovici, UK, 2017

The Book of Mirrors E O Chirovici, UK, 2017

A murder mystery with a number of twists, The Book of Mirrors is divided into three separate parts; each part being told in the first person from the perspective of a different person. It is, I feel, this particular stylistic feature that gives the book its strength. The first part is has Richard Flynn at its centre; the second part is from the perspective of John Keller, a journalist; and the final part belongs to Roy Freeman, an ex-policeman. The time-frame is thirty years, more or less, and the main location is Princeton, America.

At the centre of The Book of Mirrors is Professor Weider, who is found dead in his home one Christmas. There are a number of suspects, among them: Richard, the young boy helping the professor catalogue his library; Laura, the professor’s favourite pupil who may, or may not, have been having a relationship with him; Derek, the handyman. . . The police have a few leads, but they all fizzle out, and no one can say who murdered the professor. But there are two manuscripts: an unfinished one written by Richard as an introduction to a book he is writing, and a second one, reportedly written by the professor, but missing. There is even the possibility that Richard may have finished his book but that manuscript is also missing.

There are a number of characters, both important and less important to the story, and I must admit that I did have to do some back-tracking for names and places, especially once I had moved into the second and third parts of the book. The fact that some female characters had married (and changed their surnames) did not help the situation. A list of characters, perhaps as an appendix, could have removed this problem.

Otherwise the book is well written and the plot is cleverly and realistically designed and presented. That I did not connect with any of the characters I do not see as a flaw, this is, after all, a crime mystery, and if it is approached from this perspective it certainly ticks all the boxes.

The photo of Chirovici is from HotNews

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