cover image One Day You’ll Burn

One Day You’ll Burn

Joseph Schneider. Poisoned Pen, $15.99 trade paper (336p) ISBN 978-1-4926-8444-2

LAPD rookie detective and former history PhD candidate Marcus Tullius Jarsdel, the hero of Schneider’s uneven first novel, is called to Thailand Plaza, a restaurant-market complex, where a burned corpse is curiously posed in front of a pagoda. One clue is a 1996 quarter painted red and glued to the hand of the victim, later identified as Grant Wolin. Aided by his veteran, wise-cracking partner, Detective Morales, Jarsdel learns that Wolin worked several odd jobs in Hollywood and had few friends but apparently no enemies. A subplot, which involves the pursuit of a serial dog killer, serves mainly to introduce Aleena Andreotti, an inquisitive and irritating love interest for Jarsdel. Though readers will be intrigued by the atypical detective (he’s half Iranian and was raised by two professor fathers who disapprove of his career change), the book is filled with unrelated philosophical tangents. The parts of the plot that involve real detective work lead to an utterly terrifying conclusion. Hopefully, any sequel will have fewer detours. Agent: Eve Attermann, WME. (Feb.)