Item description for Masks of Murder by C. C. Canby...
When Christine Mallard finds her husband, Detective Zeke Mallard, brutally murdered in their own garage, it is up to Zeke's partner, rookie Detective Richard Lanslow, to solve the murder. In tandem with his new partner, veteran Detective Dean Brooks (a former detective in the Los Angeles Police Department), Lanslow begins an investigation. There are no clues, only the repeatedly stabbed body. Lanslow's investigation soon reveals his former partner's off-duty life is quite different than what the young detective had imagined. There is a beautiful young girl, and a jealous lover who quickly becomes a prime suspect---a young, street-savvy black man named Andrew White who harbors a deep hatred of white cops. We readers know, however, that Andrew has only witnessd the crime, not committed it, and that Lanslow and Brooks are on the wrong trail. And we even know the killer's first name.
Who is the man we know only as "Dorian," who later commits a second murder which, through bizarre circumstances, actually increases the detective's suspicion of Andrew White? And who are the strange characters with whom Dorian consorts, including the mysterious "little man," beset with horrible dreams; the worrying giant named Conrad; the pudgy sage named Gary; and the lesbian named Linda?
Things are not what they seem in this intricately woven plot.With the help of a famous criminologist, Detective Lanslow begins to grow skeptical of how the theory of Zeke's murder case has been constructed. Acting on the advice of the professor, the case takes a turn that even Lanslow cannot believe, despite the evidence he and Brooks have collected---and comes to a crashing, jaw-dropping conclusion.
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Reviews - What do customers think about Masks of Murder?
Edge of your seat thriller! Jun 13, 2006
Reviewed by: Beverly Pechin
This book simply grabs you from your seat and pulls you in! An Edge of your Seat thriller, the author keeps you guessing to the end. Just when you think you have one character figured out, something new happens to make you step back and look again.
Canby has a way with words that simply brings you into the story and never lets go. I guarantee you will begin reading it and hours later have no clue that time went by!
When a police officer is killed, the cold hearted murderer strikes over and over with no rhyme or reason. The officer's partner feels a connection to his slain partner and wants revenge but as just as he thinks he has one thing figured out, another thing happens to change his train of thought immediately.
The entire time, you get to peek inside the world of the killer, meeting all of his companions who seem to help bail him out each time. Secret meetings keep you guessing as to whom the killer could possibly be, yet something inside you has a feeling you know.
Absolutely one of the best thrillers I've read, this author somehow manages to keep your attention until the very last page. And just because you're certain you know who the killer is, a few chapters into the book, don't be surprised when you turn the page and realize you're completely wrong! It is amazing how Canby weaves the characters together, confusing not only the police but the reader, to the very end. It's rare that a mystery will truly keep you that enthralled that you really aren't sure until the last pages as to "who dunnit" but Canby seems to have mastered the technique!
A definite must for any mystery reader. I have a feeling Canby will soon become a favorite author amongst many!
A worthwhile mystery that will surprise you Feb 17, 2005
In Masks of Murder, by C. C. Canby, police detective Zeke Mallard is stabbed to death in his garage while unloading groceries from his car. As a result, rookie detective Richard Lanslow takes on the case every police detective loathes, that of investigating the murder of another officer, in this case his own partner. Richard learns that Zeke wasn't the happily married man he appeared to be. He's been having an affair with a young woman whose former boyfriend immediately becomes the primary suspect. Andrew White is a streetwise young black man, distrustful of white cops. He is a criminal, but he didn't kill Zeke Mallard. The reader knows that in fact someone called Dorian stabbed Zeke to death. But we know little else about the mysterious killer. Jack Matthews is a professor at a local college who's an expert in gang behavior. In spite of having personal problems of his own, his acquaintance with Richard and his past consulting efforts for the police lead him to offer his aid with this case. Richard Lanslow remains determined to bring his partner's killer to justice, even after the department's focus moves on to more immediate crimes, and even though his fiancée ceases to excuse the amount of personal time he spends pursuing the truth.
Where the investigation eventually leads, and the layers and underlying twists in this mystery, are the elements I found most intriguing and satisfying. It's a combination of police procedural and psychological suspense with a slow build to some intense final scenes and a startling outcome.
Masks of Murder is a powerful story, with a great plot, though it moves along somewhat slowly. This story is presented with sensitivity, respect, and a certain amount of grace. The book has its weaknesses, but they have little to do with the quality of storytelling.
If there's anything I would change, it would be for the author to have infused a bit more drama on the page, a little less telling and more showing. There were a lot of emotions going on, under the surface, but I didn't connect to those depths of the story as much as I would've liked. I don't want to be unfair to the book with that statement, since this was clearly a challenging novel to write. It's flaws aren't likely to keep readers from enjoying the book or to detract from their satisfaction with the dramatic and neatly tied-up conclusion. This is a mystery that will surprise you.
Masterful Suspense Nov 22, 2004
Canby weaves an intriguing pscho/mystery, taking the reader on a well written journey to a surprise climax. His characters, especially the hero, are believable and pull the reader from page to page as the plot twists and turns. Canby sprinkles his story with local descriptions that enhance like Michael Connelly's Los Angeles. Definitely a recommended read for mystery buffs and I will watch for his next book.
Wonderful Mystery! Oct 10, 2004
Masks of Murder was a wonderful combination of intricate plot, fascinating characters, and philosophical pondering. Once I picked it up, I couldn't put it down. Every page had a new twist to the plot or an interesting thought about how life plays out. It was entirely believable, and yet not predictable. I've read a lot of mysteries and this one is truly original. A great read!!
Masks of Murder -- Outstanding Mar 13, 2004
I couldn't put this book down! It is very well written, easy to follow, and keeps you in suspense until the very compelling ending. A great murder mystery, with just enough characters and twists to keep you guessing. A great read.