The Glass Curtain
A Red Notebook Mystery
by J D Rohm
My rating: 5 stars
Series: A Red Notebook Mystery - Book 1
Publication Date: October 31, 2016
Publisher: J.D. Rohm
Print Length: 306 pages
MARQUESA JESUS PIAZZA, known as Mach, is a real estate reporter at New York City’s second largest daily newspaper. It is 2009, the wrong side of the real estate boom and bust of the early 21st century. Disgruntled over the decline of the newspaper business, her dead-end career, and a disappointing love affair with her boss, SCOTT SCREEN, Mach throws herself into a story that crosses her desk on July Fourth - the death of the young second wife of one of New York’s most prominent real estate developers, BARRY SLOANE. The death quickly disappears from view, until Mach brings it back a year after it happens.
In a compelling, contemporary first-person voice, Mach relentlessly pursues the story of what happened to the victim, ANABEL SLOANE, as if solving the murder will justify the choices Mach has made and provide a key to how to move her life forward.
A publicity hungry Chief Medical Examiner, DR. MATTHEW ROWAN, a former medic during Desert Storm, chooses Mach to be an embedded journalist in a special task force within the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner (OCME). Mach is paired with the sergeant in charge of the task force, EMILIO “MIL” URQUIA, who is reluctant to work with a civilian reporter. The police know the cause of death as drowning, the mechanism of death as poisoning, but the manner of death - the missing piece of the puzzle - eludes them.
Mach and Mil learn to work together, with the aid of a dog walker, GLORIA YAP, and a luxury condominium concierge, RYAN ALEXANDRINE, to solve Anabel Sloane’s murder. In equal parts of authenticity and novelty, details of forensics and the underlying causes of the real estate industry crash bubble to the surface as Mach and Mil’s investigation gains momentum.
The settings for Mach’s pursuits are Manhattan in all its ugly glory, Mach’s humble hometown of White Plains, Barry Sloane’s East Hampton Estate, and the environs. The contrasts provided by these settings underscore the contrasts between the social classes of New York. Mach’s ability to bond within these strata, as exemplified by her closeness with all three of the important male characters - blue collar Mil, educated professional Scott, and one-percenter Barry - demonstrate her dedication and depth.
When Mach’s father dies, she begins to understand that not everything is black or white. Everything is more a foggy shade of gray, turning the determined heroine a bit more philosophical and tolerant. In the end, it is Mach’s intelligence, integrity, and intuition that help her solve the puzzles for which there are no keys - including her own life.
The Glass Curtain by J.D. Rohm
(A Red Notebook Mystery, #1)
New York City, the movers and shakers, the moguls, the risk-takers, the beautiful people and those who report their every move. One reporter is about to get that long awaited break as a real estate mogul’s trophy wife is found dead and the circumstances are definitely suspicious.
M. Jesus Piazza chose her career over the white picket fence and 2.5 children. She knows she has what it takes to be an investigative reporter, so when a tip came in giving her a head start on the competition, Mach set out to prove she was more than a purveyor of fluff in print. But being an investigative reporter means getting down and dirty in the trenches, straddling the fine line between crossing the police and getting too close to the story.
Who killed Anabel Sloane? How? Was it murder or an accidental death in the pool at the condo her husband, wheeler-dealer, Barry Sloane built?
Mach is about to discover more than she bargained for and an alliance she never could have dreamed of as murder among the elite of New York make front page news with a well-earned byline.
THE GLASS CURTAIN by J.D. Rohm will intrigue and entertain a one determined woman digs deep for “the rest of the story” while juggling the ups and downs of her own life. There is a strong character presence that feels real and alive as J.D. Rohm builds a tale of twisted actions in one of the world’s most eclectic urban venues. A collage of clues, seemingly unrelated will come together in a surprising ending!
Well-written, intense, filled with side stories that beef up this tale into a true slice of life…and death. Completely entertaining! Highly recommended!
I received a complimentary copy from J.D. Rohm!