Forge, Jul 2001, 25.95, 384 pp.
In Aix-en-Provence, France, criminal investigator Michel Dalton and California expatriate Jennifer Bowen will soon marry. Not to long ago, he and Jennifer were shot and she had to kill two people on his last major case. Knowing about her nightmares and that he inherited artwork worth hundreds of millions of dollars, Michel promised Jennifer he would resign as head of the Special Circumstances Section once a replacement is selected. Though he admits to himself that he loves Jennifer, he will miss the job he has held for seven years.
Michel avoids getting involved in the squabbles of his parents over the food and other arrangements for the wedding because he is involved in a new case. On the beach lies the abused body of a young girl apparently washed ashore. Michel begins making inquiries that soon has him out of country. Each step closer to the truth sends him one step deeper into a cesspool that the American EPA would avoid.
A new Norman Bogner novel is always a reason to cheer, but a new Dalton and associates tale is nirvana (see TO DIE IN PROVENCE). Michel's latest case, THE DEADLIEST ART, is a powerful police procedural that hooks the audience because one cannot help caring for Michel, Jennifer, and the rest of the brood. The investigation is intelligently constructed to keep readers guessing and reading (set aside time for one sitting). As usual Norman Bogner provides a powerfully entertaining, fast-paced story line that defines what a thriller should read like.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner