DIAMOND EYE by Arthur Rosenfeld
A MAX DIAMOND NOVEL
FORGE, Tom Doherty Associates, July 2001
Postal Inspector Max Diamond discovers apparent snuff film and child pornography in what appear to be standard videos. Ignoring his boss's orders, he insists on investigating. The death of a child hits too close to his personal past for him to ignore. Following leads that span from malingering postal workers to an ex-girlfriend to the Cuban Mafia in Miami, to Peruvian terrorist organizations, Diamond stays on the case.
Author Arthur Rosenfeld takes a powerful and emotive premise--a combination of child pornography and murder on film--and combines this with an interesting character in Max Diamond. Rosenfeld gives the reader a real feel for the atmosphere, both physical and social, of Miami in the early 21st century, as well as a look into one of the more obscure branches of federal law enforcement. The brief scene where Diamond and his boss swoop in to protect a mail delivery person is a small gem.
I enjoyed Diamond's relationship with his family--both his grandmother and her boyfriend, and his own parents. The impact of his sister's death helped explain Diamond's motivation and justified his occasionally excessively violent responses.
Two significant flaws keep this book from reaching its full promise. First, Diamond's treatment of his ex-girlfriend is simply inexcusable. After a sexual encounter, he doesn't bother returning her calls, ignores her visits, and treats her like a subhuman. Second, the coincidental connection of so many of Diamond's apparently disconnected cases stretches reader credibility.
Flawed or not, DIAMOND EYE makes for powerful and compelling reading.
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