WHODUNIT: JACK BATTEN
“The Dark Room,” by Jonathan Moore, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 304 pages, $24
San Francisco’s mayor complains that somebody’s blackmailing him. He summons Gavin Cain, the city’s ace police detective, to nail the blackmailer before this person gets murderous, something the blackmail letter seems to threaten.
Then, in Jonathan Moore’s sharply conceived and even more sharply written new book, things start happening that not even the wisest and best read of crime fiction devotees could anticipate. Moore is a resourceful writer, a conceiver of non-stop turns in plot that take us through murders of immense horror and mystery.
And in Gavin Cain, Moore introduces a marvellous new sleuth. For dedication to the job mixed with a generous shot of smarts, you won’t find his equal anywhere this side of Michael Connolly’s Harry Bosch, who happens to be 23 years senior to Cain.