This is another of the books garnered from a dollar-a-bag book sale. In comparison to the others I have so far read, this one is a keeper, and a solid invitation to more books by the same author.
The story begins with a graduate student discovering his dissertation advisor murdered. He sees that no one else is around, and slips out of the building without being noticed, and does not call the police. His inaction develops into intrigue and murder in the pursuit of a fortune in diamonds. The book was reviewed in the New York Times Book Review. According to the back cover of the book, the review included the statement, “It’s a rather unusual book … with sharply etched characters and a rather shocking amorality.” What was “rather shocking” in 1982 no longer is. In fact, the book is an illustration of what happens when one “chip[s] away a couple of layers—inexperience and outmoded, secondhand morality.” It is very much the same kind of thing seen in Breaking Bad, where Walt sloughs off that same sort of “outmoded, secondhand morality.”
Nonetheless, the characters are very well-drawn, and the narrative, both as to style and to plot, well-done.