Monday, March 27

Prisoner of Memory by Denise Hamilton

Review by Theodore Feit

  The author casts her memory back to her Russian family, combining Cold War spying, modern Russian Mafia and murder in a fascinating story in which Eve Diamond once again becomes the focus instead of the reporter.  In this installment, we find the beguiling Los Angeles Times reporter transferred from the boondocks to the news desk downtown.

  While on assignment in Griffith Park with a Fish and Wildlife officer tracking a mountain lion, she discovers the body of a young man shot in the head.  He is the son of a Russian émigré.  A few days later, the latter's older son is the victim of a hit-and-run driver, witnessed—of course—by Eve.  All this Russian business causes Eve to seek out her own history.

  Meanwhile, a visitor claiming to be her cousin from Moscow shows up on her doorstep—destined to provide a vital role in the tale as well as to key Eve on some facts concerning her family background:  It seems he contracted with the Russian Mafia to illegally bring him into the United States.

  Eve becomes fixated with uncovering the boys' murderer, initially investigating the Russian Mafia and then mixing in past Cold War spies, almost getting herself murdered to boot.  It is a well-told story, and one well worth reading.  The plot, characters and other aspects of the novel are excellently handled, in keeping with the quality of the series.


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