While spending a career in government, Reflecting Pool is apparently the first novel for Otho Eskin, who is an accomplished playwright. It’s my opinion that Eskin would do well to continue writing in the murder mystery genre, and perhaps he plans to make a series with his protagonist, Marko Zorn. This was a very fun read. Zorn is a detective with the Washington DC Metropolitan Police. While it is uncommon to read about an uncompromising character who is in pursuit of the truth, Eskin has taken Zorn to a new level. In the course of this story, Zorn pisses off nearly everyone he encounters, including the president’s underlings, the president himself, the president’s wife, the Secret Service, and the investigating members of the FBI and National Park Service. In his singleness of purpose, he put his rookie partner in great danger, so his own entire staff was most unhappy with him. Zorn mostly spared involvement with the CIA.
Zorn just happened to be the first person to discover a body of a young woman who had drowned in the Reflecting Pool that lies between the Lincoln Memorial and the Capital Building. Underwater and facing upwards, he was struck by the deep blue color of her eyes, and she reminded him of his older sister who had been raped and murdered nearly 20 years before. Of course, there were immediate turf wars over jurisdiction for the crime, especially with the FBI, the Secret Service because the deceased woman, Sandra Wilcox, had been part of the presidential protection brigade, and the National Park Service. Zorn was told by the president that this death was a matter of national security, that he was being ordered to drop the case, but Zorn thought it would be an injustice to do so.
By the end of the book, Zorn had figured out the surprising details that led to the death of Wilcox, but the author also added Zorn’s successful efforts to deal with a raging street war between two gangs who were competing for a huge shipment of weapons, as well as an assassin who had been hired to kill the president. This was a good story, and I hope that the author writes another book about Marko Zorn.
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