- Paperback: 350 pages
- Published: 10/2/02
- IBSN: 9781888451399
- e-IBSN: 9781617750977
- Genre: Fiction
National Book Award–nominee Heather Dune Macadam presents her first mystery as alluring as a Buddhist Koan.
Finalist for a 2003 Nero Award
“Heather Dune Macadam should be included in that rare category of literary mystery masters such as Lawrence Block, Craig Holden, and Giles Blunt, whose lyrical prose and beautifully developed characters have a great deal to say about the troubled world we live in and its legacy of violence.”
—Kaylie Jones, author of Celeste Ascending and A Soldier’s Daughter Never Cries
New Year’s Eve, 2001. Suffolk County Crime Scene Detective Devon Halsey and her boyfriend, Homicide Detective Lochwood Brennen, are more interested in their own celebration when they are suddenly thrust into a New Year’s mayhem worse than either could have imagined. What do seasoned detectives do when faced with the complex situation of maintaining a crime scene’s integrity when they know both of the victims? They do their jobs.
The past nags on Devon Halsey as she walks through the crime scene. The physical and circumstantial evidence points to the murderer being Beka Imamura, Devon Halsey’s best friend. The victim, Beka’s own husband, is renowned artist Gabriel Montebello. What appears to be a relationship gone sour, ending in a murder/suicide, conflicts with Devon’s personal knowledge of her friend.
At the Northwest Woods Zendo in East Hampton, where Beka and Devon occasioned over the years, a monk has found Beka’s hair on the altar of Buddha. Devon works the scene, but the evidence all points to Beka offering her hair as a sign of grief—but for what?
What has haunted Devon for years begins to take shape in the present day. Dissecting the case file, she learns that a carving in the victim is actually a Koan—an unanswerable question that must be meditated upon in order to reach enlightenment. In the true nature of the Koan, Devon and Lochwood must find the answers in order to solve the crime, while also looking at the nature of betrayal and its many layers of disguise.
HEATHER DUNE MACADAM is a professor at Suffolk County Community College and Dowling College, and a former dancer with the Martha Graham Dance Company. She is the author of The Weeping Buddha and Rena’s Promise, a memoir about the 1,716th Jewish woman in Auschwitz death camp, which was nominated for a National Book Award. Her writing has appeared in Newsweek and the Advocate. Heather Dune Macadam used to live in Sag Harbor, but can no longer afford it.