21 May 2010
Title: Mirror Image
Author: Dennis Palumbo
Publisher: Poisoned Pen Press
Publication Date: August 1, 2010
Paperback: 250 pages
From the Publisher:
Dr. Daniel Rinaldi, a psychologist who consults with the Pittsburgh Police. His specialty is treating victims of violent crime—those who've survived an armed robbery or kidnapping, but whose traumatic experience still haunts them.Kevin Merrick, a college student and victim of an armed assault, is one of these people.A fragile, troubled kid desperate for a role model, a sense of identity, Kevin has begun dressing like Rinaldi, acting like him, mirroring his appearance. Before Daniel has a chance to work this through with his patient, he finds Kevin brutally murdered. Stunned, he and the police suspect that "he, "not Kevin, had been the intended target.Feeling responsible, Rinaldi is determined to help find the killer, who's begun leaving death threats for the psychologist. His journey takes him through a labyrinth of friends and colleagues, any one of whom may be the killer. It also includes an affair with a beautiful, free-spirited Assistant DA with secrets of her own. And when Kevin's identity as the estranged son of a Bill Gates-like biotech giant is revealed, the investigation of his murder turns into a national story...even as another person turns up dead.
High-powered attorneys, affairs, CEOs, buy-outs, mentally unstable patients, and murder are just a few glimpses into Mirror Image by Dennis Palumbo. Daniel Rinaldi, a clinical psychologist, has been in private practice since leaving Ten Oaks and is also a consultant for the Pittsburg Police Department. His friend and the Community Liaison Officer sends patients his way who have been victims of violent crimes as these types of victims are Rinaldi's specialty, and this is how he came to treat Kevin Merrick. Rinaldi is known to work outside the strict confines of the practice much to the dismay of some of his consulting doctors at Ten Oaks. When Merrick is found viciously stabbed to death the police call Rinaldi in for questioning, alternating between believing he committed the murder and believing he was the intended target. Death threats begin to mount as do legal actions and questions about Rinaldi's practice, and it does not help his case that his best friend Noah, happens to be a paranoid schizophrenic. Mirror Image is not only a well-crafted suspense thriller, but also one that makes the reader pause and think. The plot twists and turns in just the right places certain to delight any suspense fan. Palumbo creates an elaborate and extremely detailed ensemble of characters and definitely proves how easily one can be deceived. Mirror Image will not only capture the reader's attention, keeping the reader actively engaged in each line of inquiry and twist but make the reader want to learn more, rendering the reader incapable of putting the novel down. Yes, it is that good. I was truly stunned to discover this was Palumbo's debut novel. High marks all around. I would not hesitate to recommend Mirror Image to anyone looking for a faced paced, intelligent suspense thriller.