Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Firewheel MRD Reads Mind's Eye

The April selection for the Firewheel Mystery Reader Discussion Group was an interesting one. The title of the book is Mind's Eye and it is written by Hakan Nesser. I am not sure who suggested the group read this one but it was an excellent choice.

This book is the first book in a series involving an Inspector Van Veeteran. (Just an observation but his name is close to "veteran" which refers to a person with experience in a particular area.) The book opens with the discovery of a murder - an investigation that will involve the inspector. The person discovering the body is the husband of the victim and he has no recollection of what went on. He is the obvious suspect and is arrested and convicted of the murder. In spite of the arrest and conviction, the inspector has some doubts about the case against the husband and when the husband is murdered in an institution, he turns the investigation up a notch.

One of the things interesting about this story is the title - Mind's Eye - and it's relation to the story. (Or at least my perception of it's relation to the story!) This investigation does not focus on a lot of highly visible clues but instead relies on pieces of information that is "turned over" in the inspector's mind. He kind of refers to this process when talking to his colleague about the case. This was just one of the things that made the book interesting to me.

There were other things the author did that made the story interesting as well. One of the things he did was point out how there was a connection - outside of the case - between one of the investigators(Ruger) and the husband (Mitter) suspected of murdering his wife. Mitter who is a teacher taught Ruger's son in school. This kind of foreshadows some of the other interesting things in the book. Not to give it away but there IS a relationship between the murdered woman and the murderer.

I also thought the author used some interesting ways to describe things - like the thoughts of Mitter about his dead wife. At one point he thoughts were of her in his life like she was a part of a book of his life - a chapter in his life. And this was not totally uncharacteristic of the character who was a teacher.

There was one little clue in the book that was left by Mitter himself before he was murdered that I thought would play a part in solving the case - but it did not. Instead I think it was another interesting tool used by the author. Before he was murdered, Mitter wrote something in a Bible beside his bed in the institution. This was never discovered during the investigation. As a matter of fact, it is never brought back up until after the case has been solved and is over with. Somebody discovers that a name is written in the Bible - the name of the murderer. This is literally done in the last chapter and last page of the book. So what is the significance of this? The only clue I see is where in the Bible the clue / name is written. Was it written there on purpose? Or is this just a tease by the author? READ IT and draw your own conclusions.

Incidentally, I saved the vote by the reading group until the end. The vote was unanimous - 7 thumbs up.

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