San Francisco Book Review

On vacation in Germany, a middle-aged husband and wife hike to a
medieval tower. Knowing the tower makes the husband uncomfortable,
the wife sends him down the trail and enters the tower alone, waving
to him from an upstairs wooden landing. Later, the husband returns,
but cannot find his wife. Entering the dark tower, he becomes ill, blacks
out, and awakens outside. Still unclear what has happened to his wife,
the man returns to his hotel, cleans up a few details without speaking
to the authorities, and begins his return trip home to the States as if
nothing has happened. Some time later, the woman’s body is discovered
in the tower without identification, and a local, small-town detective’s
caseload becomes a good deal more complex.
Did the husband kill his wife? Was she killed by an old boyfriend? Did
she commit suicide, or did she simply have the bad luck of falling?
Clearly, Katya is a labor of love for husband-and-wife writing team
Jon Martell and Jamie McCormick, and the result is a pleasure for those
who love a good mystery. The strength of this novel, which spans two
continents and several decades, is the depth of thought given to each
main character’s possible, but no way predictable, back story and the
care taken in revealing those stories in the plot. Intrigued from the first
few pages, the reader feels the delicious compulsion to keep reading to
finally discover how all of these lives interweave to create this unique
novel. In the end, the authors tantalize the reader further. Rather than
providing clear answers, they leave the reader puzzling. A tribute to
their skill, this lack of complete clarity proves a completely refreshing
and satisfying result. Katya was four years in the making, and those
were four years well spent.



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