Mystery 12/1/2017

In Book Reviews, Featured Book Review by Etta Verma

The Sin Collector
by Daria Desombre.
(Amazon Crossing,
$14.95, 9781542047203)

STRANGER THINGS

In Desombre’s debut, The Sin Collector, “strange deaths in strange places” set an ambitious intern on a quest for truth. Masha is a law student at Moscow State University. She’s top of her class, which makes her fodder for disdain at her Central Directorate Headquarters internship, where she’s supposed to pass the time quietly while others do the real work. Masha’s too smart for that, though. Left to her own devices, she turns busywork into an investigation of killings that begin to show patterns—they’re in odd locations, and, beginning with numerology, they expose a preoccupation with medieval symbols. This debut, already a bestseller for Amazon’s imprint that offers translated books, is a promising start to a new series. Desombre’s intricate creation alternates viewpoints between Masha and other main characters and portrays a tough city where gruesomeness isn’t as unusual its residents would like. The symbology aspect makes this perfect for readers who are looking for something after Dan Brown’s new work, while Masha’s starring role as a whip-smart young adult who won’t rest till she has answers will be a hit with fans of Joe Ide’s IQ books.

Henrietta Verma