Saturday, July 19, 2008

Mystery Book Review: Eyes of the World by Rob Palmer

Mysterious Reviews, mysteries reviewed by the Hidden Staircase Mystery Books, is publishing a new review of Eyes of the World by Rob Palmer. For our blog readers, we are printing it first here in advance of its publication on our website.

Eyes of the World by Rob PalmerBuy from Amazon.com

Eyes of the World by
Non-series

Dorchester (Mass Market Paperback)
ISBN-10: 0-8439-5676-3 (0843956763)
ISBN-13: 978-0-8439-5676-4 (9780843956764)
Publication Date: April 2008
List Price: $7.99

Synopsis (from the publisher): Mike Stanbridge, a Florida lawyer, has been friends with Lynnie Connor since childhood. Lynnie, always driven, always a risk taker, has risen to be president of the United States. Their friendship is common knowledge; their long-standing love affair is the most carefully guarded secret of their lives.

It is the campaign season, and Lynnie is running hard for reelection. Any scandal could bring her career crashing down.

Trouble starts when a woman is murdered in upstate New York, in the town where Mike and Lynnie grew up. The dead woman knew more about Lynnie than anyone—except, perhaps, Mike. Evidence indicates someone close to Lynnie may have been the killer. The police look deeper and tie Mike to the scene. He's suddenly the number-one suspect.

With the clock ticking on the election, Mike must find the real murderer. That means digging into Lynnie's political connections and, ultimately, into her past. The clues lead him on a high-speed run across the country.

Mike isn't the only one in the hunt. The police, the FBI, a tight-knit squad of assassins—they all are after him. The circle slips tighter with every step closer to the truth. And always Mike is pursued by questions: How well does he really know Lynnie? How much can he trust her?

Review: A murder investigation complicates the re-election campaign of America's first woman President in Eyes of the World, a thoroughly entertaining and absorbing political thriller by Rob Palmer.

A "This is Your Life" birthday party is being planned in Blaine, New York, the hometown of President Carolyn "Lynnie" Connor. In charge of the festivities, 73-year-old Reverend Eve Tessmer had scheduled forty-three speakers, one for each year of Lynnie's life. Although Lynnie had lived in Blaine since she was a toddler, she was actually born on a ranch in Arizona near the border with Mexico. Eve wanted a speaker to attend and tell the story of Lynnie's birth. But she could not locate any one who was willing to talk to her about it. Whenever she talked to anyone, she was always referred to someone else. Eve decided to do a search into Lynnie's ancestry, but before she could get very far, she was murdered, her death made to look like suicide. Her neighbor and close friend, Archie Pascoe found her on her bed, shot in her head with the gun in her hand. In her other hand he found a wadded up slip of paper with the name and phone number of Mike Stanbridge, Attorney-at-Law, written on it, together with some unreadable words. Because he knew suicide was not an option for Eve, he took the gun and the paper. Before leaving her room he looked around her desk noting that a folder for Arizona was missing from among the information folders she had for the party. At a memorial service for Eve, Archie meets up with Mike and together they decide to continue the search that Eve had begun.

Their involvement, however, gets the attention of someone as false clues are planted, framing Mike for Eve's murder. Now the two men are not only searching for the reasons someone might have wanted to kill Eve, but are trying to stay ahead of the police and FBI, and, it turns out, the very criminals who actually murdered Eve. Mike feels sure that someone in the government must be involved in this conspiracy but who would want the information so badly that they would condone these men to kill, injure and torture to find the secrets that lay in Arizona? Would Lynnie's political opposition be so bold? If so, why? If it wasn't the opposition, was it someone in Lynnie's own camp? Mike and Archie are in uncivilized country in Arizona, and the men after them seemed just as uncivilized. The election was only a few weeks away; Archie and Mike wondered if they could stay alive long enough to cast their votes.

Eyes of the World is an exceptionally well written and plotted novel. The characters are richly developed, from Mike and Archie and Lynnie to the leader of the clan of criminals chasing Mike and even to the one person who knows the secret everyone is looking for. In the midst of the madness and mayhem, the author adds to great effect a humorous camaraderie between Mike and Archie. This is a terrific novel, and is highly recommended.

Special thanks to guest reviewer Betty of for contributing her review of Eyes of the World and to Book Trends for providing a copy of the book for this review.

Review Copyright © 2008 — Hidden Staircase Mystery Books — All Rights Reserved.

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