Publication: 20th August 2020 – Michael Joseph
All murder mysteries follow a simple set of rules.
Grant McAllister, an author of crime fiction and professor of mathematics, once sat down and worked them all out.
But that was thirty years ago. Now he’s living a life of seclusion on a quiet Mediterranean island – until Julia Hart, a sharp, ambitious editor, knocks on his door. His early work is being republished and together the two of them must revisit those old stories.
An author, hiding from his past, and an editor, probing inside it.
But as she reads the stories, Julia is unsettled to realise that there are parts that don’t make sense. Intricate clues that seem to reference a real murder.
One that’s remained unsolved for thirty years . . .
If Julia wants answers, she must triumph in a battle of wits with a dangerously clever adversary.
But she must tread carefully: she knows there’s a mystery, but she doesn’t yet realise there’s already been a murder . . .
What does a good murder story need? One or more victims, a murderer, suspects, and one (or more) detective(s). Those are the rules to follow for the perfect murder story according to mathematician and author Grant McAllister. Julia Hart has travelled to a remote village in the Mediterranean because she wants to publish a collection of stories Grant has written years before.
Julia reads each story analysing it in every single detail. In each story, Julia finds discrepancies for which Grant doesn’t seems to have a valid explanation. Grant’s elusiveness is no match for Julia’s inquisitive mind and, soon, she finds herself in the role of detective. Is he hiding something? Why doesn’t he remember writing the stories?
I was completely addicted to these stories. Each story is smartly constructed. It has an Agatha Christie resonance, a gripping whodunit plot, a claustrophobic atmosphere, and unexpected twists. The entire novel is unique, smart, challenging and I was quite surprised to find out that it is a debut. It has an original concept, the structure of book-within-a-book, and two protagonists that remain a mystery for most of the novel. If you are looking for something different from the usual crime novel, then Eight Detectives is the right read for you. Highly recommended!
A huge thank you to Michael Joseph and NetGalley for providing me with a copy of the novel.