cover image Paper Son

Paper Son

S.J. Rozan. Pegasus Crime, $25.95 (320p) ISBN 978-1-64313-129-0

Last seen in 2011’s Ghost Hero, Lydia Chin and Bill Smith venture into unfamiliar terrain—the Deep South—in Edgar winner Rozan’s stellar 12th novel featuring the two New York City PIs. To Lydia’s surprise, the detective’s mother, who isn’t a fan of either her daughter’s profession or Bill, asks Lydia to travel with Bill to Clarksdale, Miss., where a cousin Lydia has never heard of, 23-year-old Jefferson Tam, has just been arrested for the murder of his grocer father, Leland. While the evidence against Jefferson appears strong—he was found next to his father’s corpse and his prints were on the bloody knife that caused the fatal wound—Mrs. Chin refuses to accept that a relative of her late husband could possibly be guilty. Before Lydia and Bill can talk to Jefferson about what happened, he escapes from jail, an act that only makes him look guiltier. As usual, Rozan is adept at devising a plausible but intricate mystery for her leads. She also presents a nuanced look at the experiences of Chinese immigrants in the U.S. Her superior prose and characterizations will make even newcomers hope for a shorter wait for the next book in the series. [em]Agent, Josh Getlzer, Hannigan Salky Getzler Agency. (July) [/em]