St. Martin's, July 2003, 24.95, 288 pp.
He became a legend for his work in the FBI's Behavioral Science Unit, so much so, that when he retired he was asked to consult on some very high profile murder cases in Philadelphia. Gregor Demarkian attends a Main Line charity gathering in Bryn Mawr hosted by one of the most powerful and wealthiest bankers in the world, Tony Ross, who is murdered while greeting guests on the front stairs. Although he is technically a witness or a suspect the local police ask Gregor for help, which he gladly agrees to give.
When he goes home he learns that his church on Cavenaugh Street has been bombed and reduced to rubble. Since he is close to Father Kasparian, Gregor donates his services hoping to catch the perpetrator who did this horrific act. When Tony's wife Charlotte is murdered in a M.O. identical to that of her husband's death, conspiracy literature is found in her house. Gregor feels these three crimes are linked but finding the connection and a viable suspect will take all of his skills and a good deal of luck.
Jane Haddam has a wonderful sense of place and an ability to create fascinating characters. The author peels away the veil and spin doctoring of the very rich and powerful to show that they are not different than the average person in their desires and fears. CONSPIRACY THEORY is fast-paced and brilliantly plotted while displaying how the events of September 11th fit into the mindset of a conspiracy group who believes the Illuminati are controlling the country and moving towards a one world order. This is a mystery that readers will thoroughly enjoy.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner