Andrew Lanh,
Caught Dead
(Poisoned Pen, 2014)

When Mary Lee Vu, a stunningly beautiful Vietnamese twin, steps out of her lane, she doesn't get the luxury of living to regret it. Her body is discovered in the least likeliest place imaginable. Wrong place at the wrong time is how the detective on the case chose to close his investigation. However, Hank, a close friend of Mary's family and a former criminal justice student, asks his investigative friend Rick Van Lam to investigate Mary's case on behalf of his grandmother, who feels certain that there's more to what happened to Mary than the eye can see.

To unravel the mystery behind Mary's death, Rick turns to a few of the people in the neighborhood where she was killed and her family to try to figure out why she was in such a dangerous part of town. He discovers an excess of dysfunction and ill feelings among her family, and he uses that dissension to see if Mary's family is being entirely forthcoming about her death.

But before he can put a dent into his investigation, Mary Lee's twin sister Molly ends up dead, too. From this point on, author Andrew Lanh takes readers on a journey that will have them certain they have discovered the culprits in the murders, only to discover they'd followed a red herring.

Just when Rick is about to wave the white flag on the investigation, he gains volumes of wisdom from a very unlikely source. That person makes him see that he's making the case way more complicated than it ever had to be.

This book is a very entertaining mystery. Lanh can consider himself in the league of all the great whodunnit authors. If his work in the future is comparable to Caught Dead he will have a library of bestsellers.

book review by
Renee Harmon

21 March 2015

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