The Reflecting Pool

Mysterious Book Report No. 444

by John Dwaine McKenna

Although The Reflecting Pool, (Oceanview, $26.95, 352 pages, ISBN 978-1-60809-411-0) by former diplomat and foreign service officer Otho Eskin was published late last year, it was only recently brought to our attention by Mike Durell at the Mysterious Book Shop in New York City . . . and we’re very glad that he did . . . because this debut novel starts off with a hot bang, then grows more intense with every chapter.  And along the way, it touches upon a radioactive issue in our contemporary world—the two-tiered system of justice that’s engineered by and for a powerful elite at the expense of ordinary citizens.

The novel begins when a shifty, but brilliant, Washington, D.C. homicide detective named Marko Zorn is called out at 3 a.m. to the reflecting pool on the Washington Mall, where the body of a Secret Service agent named Sandra Wilcox has just been found floating face down in the water.  A turf war breaks out between Zorn, representing the  D.C. Metropolitan Police Department, and the Secret Service, who had assigned Wilcox to the prestigious and elite Presidential Protection Detail.  Homeland Security tries to assume control of the case and is fought off by Zorn.  He then continues as the lead investigator despite the interference and a lack of help from the FBI and Department of Justice.  They only vaguely inform him of Wilcox’s disturbed brother, a U.S. Army vet and trained killer with ties to a group calling itself the Brotherhood of the Aryan Dawn.  But not even a warning from a Presidential Advisor who knew Sandra Dixon, telling him that the investigation is putting national security at risk, deters Zorn from getting to the bottom of the case and solving the murder.  At the same time however, an ever expanding pool of thugs, threats and plots take this propulsive whodunnit and thriller to an electrifying conclusion that will leave readers saying, Damn, I never saw that coming . . . and wondering how soon the next Marco Zorn story will get here!


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