Sunday, September 12, 2010

Sunday Salon - Mirror Image by Dennis Palumbo

Dennis Palumbo's debut mystery, Mirror Image, is a complex story of murder, mistaken and hidden identities.  Palumbo introduces Dr. Daniel Rinaldi, a clinical psychologist who gets in trouble for caring too much about his patients.  And, the book is complicated enough to keep the reader continually surprised.  Mirror Image is a successful first effort that will leave you wondering how Rinaldi could possibly have a second case as fascinating as this one.

Dr. Rinaldi finally thought he was making progress with a patient, Kevin Merrick, since Merrick was finally opening up to him.  At the same time, Kevin was starting to emulate Rinaldi, dressing like him, mirroring his actions, taking some of his possessions from his desk.  So, when Kevin was murdered after leaving a session, and he was wearing Rinaldi's jacket, no one was sure if the doctor or the patient was the intended target.  But the threats that followed indicated Rinaldi should have been the victim.

As a consultant for the Pittsburgh police, Rinaldi used his access to work on Kevin's case.  He felt guilty that his patient might have died in a case of mistaken identity.  But, when a doctor who was angry at Rinaldi is killed, the police start to suspect Daniel might be involved in the deaths.  As Rinaldi's life and career seem to spin out of control, only a sexy Assistant D.A. seems to be on Daniel's side.  There are powerful men out to destroy him, and he still doesn't know who might want him dead.

Dennis Palumbo is a licensed psychotherapist who brings his knowledge of clinical practice to this mystery involving a complicated man.  Daniel Rinaldi himself was a victim at one time.  His wife was killed when the couple was mugged.  He has a great deal of empathy with his patients, victims of violent crimes.  Now, even in the face of an ongoing investigation, his sympathy and feelings are still with his patients, and it's his search for answers as to their behavior that continues to force him deeper into the criminal investigation.  Daniel Rinaldi is a man whose passion for his patients, his friends, and his work is the moving force behind his actions.  In creating Daniel Rinaldi, Palumbo has given us an intelligent, passionate sleuth. It takes a strong man to dig himself so deeply into a twisted investigation.  Mirror Image is a successful debut because Dr. Daniel Rinaldi is a compassionate, fascinating character. 

Dennis Palumbo's website is

Mirror Image by Dennis Palumbo.  Poisoned Pen Press, ©2010. ISBN 9781590587508 (hardcover), 250p.

FTC Full Disclosure - The author sent me a copy of the book, hoping I would review it.


Beth Hoffman said...

Dr. Rinaldi sounds like a fascinating and complex character. I really enjoyed reading your excellent review and will definitely add this title to my list.

Thank you, Lesa!

Lesa said...

You're welcome, Beth. And, I'm reading a book you blurbed right now, Cleo by Helen Brown.

Beth Hoffman said...

Oh, Cleo really touched me. I'll be eager to hear what you think of it.
Have a great week, Lesa!

Lesa said...

You, too, Beth. I've just started Cleo, but I think it's going to be special. Hugs, Beth!