Reviewed by Dale Lewis
According to Their Deeds by Paul Robertson
"The colorful diversity of people and circumstances is woven well throughout the pages..."
Charles Beale enjoys his life as a respectable rare books dealer in the shadows of Washington, D.C. When Derek Bastien, a former client deeply connected in the Justice Department, is found murdered Charles is caught dead center in a high stake game of justice and mercy. Beale eagerly purchases the man's book collection at an auction and stumbles on documents within one of the volumes which incriminates major political figures. Could this material have been used to blackmail others and have led to Bastien’s murder? With a target on his back, Beale must untangle a complicated situation overflowing with deadly lies and dangerous secrets.
It is evident the author has done thorough research on high end auctions and the rare books business, creating a believable environment for the storyline to unfold. The lead character, Charles, is easy going. He exhibits the relaxed demeanor of TV detective Columbo and the perseverance of a NCIS agent hunting down clues to break the case. His relationship with Dorothy, his bride, is delightful. Their tender moments were refreshing in the midst of this mystery.
In the interspersed chapters of conversation, the reader gets an inside glimpse of the relationship between Derek and Charles as they play chess. These chapters are most intriguing as well as necessary, providing needed breathing space. Mixed into the debate of history and philosophy, there are background insights into what was transpiring in the present. The colorful diversity of people and circumstances is woven well throughout the pages of According to Their Deeds.
At times, the dialogue didn’t flow naturally and felt forced. Puns abound as Charles often asks what books had been sold and then responds accordingly. Transitions were often too abrupt. According to Their Deeds is not a page flipping thriller, as the pacing was slower and very deliberate. The suspense escalates ever so slightly until the unpredictable conclusion.
I was pleasantly pleased after reading Mr. Robertson for the first time. I look forward to reading his next fiction title.