By Margaret Truman
Forge, $24.99, 368 pages
Monument to Murder, Margaret Truman’s latest “Capital Crimes” novel, bounces back and forth between Savannah and Washington D.C. When Robert Brixton, an ex-Savannah cop turned private eye, is hired to find out if a poor Savannah girl was paid to plead guilt to murder twenty years ago the trail leads him straight to the movers and shakers in the nation’s capital. Who hired her, why, and to what lengths will they go to keep their old secrets?
Truman successfully weaves the Southern aristocracy of Georgia and the power aristocracy of DC, making their morals even more twisted when compared to Brooklyn native and PI Robert Brixton. She also throws in a few complications: minor philandering politicians, hired assassins, and a mysterious behind-the-scenes group of power puppet masters to keep you guessing. For a while you’re wondering if it’s one massive conspiracy or several small time scandals.Aside from the mystery, Monument to Murder brings up some excellent points to ponder…should people be allowed to escape their past, what is justice, and who can choose if an injustice should be righted? As always, Margaret Truman delivers a puzzle rich in setting and memorable characters.
Reviewed by Jodi M. Webb