"Mirror Image" (Poisoned Pen Press) now at your bookseller's.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010



Here's nice new review of my crime novel, Mirror Image, by mystery author Mike Orenduff:

Dennis Palumbo is an established writer with a long line of impressive credits – staff writer for the TV series Welcome Back, Kotter; screenwriter for the film My Favorite Year; author of the fiction novel City Wars and the non-fiction book Writing from the Inside Out; and writer of numerous short stories, articles, and reviews for major newspapers, journals, and magazines. 

This impressive background is evident in his first Daniel Rinaldi Mystery, Mirror Image. Rinaldi is a character right out of central casting - tough, troubled, principled, and street smart. Sam Spade with a psychology degree. He may not have come from a script, but I'll wager he's headed for one. This is the stuff movies are made of. The plot is as twisted as the antagonist's mind. The book opens with Rinaldi in a therapy session with Kevin Merrick, a patient trying to deal with the after-affects of being a victim of armed assault who has started to dress like his therapist and copy his mannerisms.  As Rinaldi is walking to his car after the session, he hears someone dash away and finds his patient Kevin stabbed and bleeding. The police figure Rinaldi was the intended victim since he was dressing and acting like him. Then they discover that Kevin Merrick was actually an alias.  

These are just the first two in a stream of surprises that keep you turning the pages. Mystery readers will have already guessed that Rinaldi soon goes from intended victim to suspect, receives death threats, and has to hunt down the killer himself. Did I mention there is another murder? Yet all these traditional elements have a different twist. Palumbo sets a great scene in Pittsburgh and peoples it with great characters, including the mentally tormented Noah and the femme fatale Casey Walters, right out of an SM dream. 

Mirror Image is both thriller and mystery, reminiscent of Jonathan Kellerman but less artificially intellectual and more visceral. Perhaps along the lines of Andrew Vachss' Flood. Mirror Image is a solid, hard-hitting book, not recommended for the squeamish or faint of heart.

As always, I'm grateful to those who've taken the time to read and review my first crime novel.