I received a review copy
Steve Wade is an ex-cop and now private investigator. His reputation for solving crimes is growing.
His newest client is a man charged with a murder he says he did not commit. The convict’s sister has evidence that the person he supposedly murdered is alive and living somewhere in Shanghai after an old classmate of hers sees a double of the murdered victim while touring parts of Asia.
Is the murder victim, a woman, really alive and the man charged with her murder innocent?
Steve does not know what to think. Should he believe a convicted killer who was once a drug addict living on the streets? Steve however does not want an innocent man to spend the rest of his life in jail.
It’s a dilemma he must think through and to try to prove the convicted murderer’s innocence.
When a women long believed dead is spotted in China by an old friend on holiday, it opens a real can of worms. If she is indeed the woman believed murdered, than her drug dealer has been falsely imprisoned and there is a dead body who’s identity still needs to be discovered. With the sister of the accused pushing for involvement to free her brother, and the family of the “deceased” wanting the dead to remain dead, it turns out to be a real muddle. With such uncertainty there is only one thing to do, hire someone who can look into the matter: private investigator Steve Wade. Since Wade solved the case of “the missing mah jongg player”, has become a hot commodity and is asked to check out the case. But is the deceased, Patricia, really alive, or is it just a look-a-like in China? And if she isn’t dead, who died in her place? Did the drug dealer murder this Jane Doe, or was it someone else?
I thoroughly enjoyed the first book in the series, The Missing Mah Jongg Player, which gave me high expectations for the sequel. Wynne didn’t disappoint with a cleverly crafted mystery that takes murder into mistaken identity and even further into assassins and a cover up. We also have a return of the characters we enjoyed from the first novel; such as the intelligent, imaginative, analytical, and methodical Steve Wade; Candy the stripper turned private investigator, who is still coming to terms with her insecurities and the shadow of the past; and sweet Sarah, Steve’s secretary, who finally gains confidence and the ability to assert herself.
The only problem I had with this novel was that the secondary characters were not as well done as in the first book. In The Missing Mah Jongg Player, the other mah jongg players created a more personal connection to our missing person causing the viewer to see her as a person rather than a “victim”. Their different personalities also balanced well with Wade’s logical approach. In this book our new cast of characters were interesting and developed, but not as fun or colorful as in the first.
On a whole I enjoyed this novel and give it a four out of five stars.