By: Andrew Diamond
Publisher: Stolen Time Press
Publication Date: November 2021
Reviewed by: Barbara Bamberger Scott
Award-winning writer Andrew Diamond has constructed a complex web of false identities and multi-generational scheming that will have investigator Claire Chastain fighting for her life.
From the outset, there’s something about this case that puts newly self-appointed PI Chastain on high alert. Something doesn’t smell right – literally: a first visit to her potential employer, Roscoe Lehmann, a seemingly reclusive older businessman living alone in a rundown estate, reveals the wafting fragrance of a very feminine, very expensive shampoo. For some reason, Lehmann is sure his employee Jacob Reisman is a thief, and he pays Chastain lavishly to find out what he’s stealing.
Chastain tracks Reisman, finding him to be almost pathologically shy, both from his actions and what little she knows of his family history. But she decides to drop the case when she finds a collection of pictures of women – women who look like her – in an envelope he gives her the last time she will see him. Hours later, she’s being arrested for Reisman’s murder. What ensues is her struggle to dodge the legal system as legitimately as possible. She’ll get the help of a credible prosecutor who’ll believe her side of a story she still does not fully understand herself, and she’ll keep on investigating on the sly to exonerate herself from a crime she never committed. What she will uncover is a series of carefully staged scenarios cleverly designed to get Reisman out of the way and her on the chopping block to fulfill the two desires of a crazed killer: revenge and money.
Diamond, who writes well-acclaimed crime, mystery, and noir fiction, is here exploring for the second time the mind and motivations of Claire Chastain, a daring, highly intelligent female who has her own secrets to repress, and her own wish to prove herself as someone who is tough and can take it in the largely male realm of criminal investigation. This book opens with her latest assignment, takes her through the disgrace and possible imprisonment that her snooping leads her to, and ends with a chance to recoup – and a chance for another Chastain volume. The twisted tale causes her to cross paths with some dark characters and dodge life-threatening peril, while maintaining a certain enviable inner strength and outer cool. Doubtless Diamond’s fans will welcome Chastain’s next bold clue search.
Quill says: The Reisman Case proves again that author Diamond has a mind for the malevolent scheming and shadowy settings that are the stuff of noir fiction, with a strong female lead to weave the crisscrossing plot threads into a rich, ever-shifting panorama.
To learn more about The Reisman Case (Claire Chastain, Book 2), please visit the author’s website at: adiamond.me