A novel about a missing twin

"The Tin Horse" by Janice Steinberg, Random House, 340 pages, $26.

Elaine and Barbara Greenstein are twins. They lived in Boyle Heights, a Jewish neighborhood of Los Angeles. When they are 18 Barbara runs off. Although their parents hire a private detective Barbara is not found.

Elaine becomes a lawyer and an activist. Now she is moving to a retirement community. She is going through family papers and finds what may be Barbara's new name. She wonders if her parents actually found Barbara but didn't tell the other children. Audrey and Harriet are their younger sisters.

This is a fascinating look at prewar life in a Jewish neighborhood. The ending is surprising.

***

"Watching the Dark" by Peter Robinson, William Morrow, 354 pages, $25.99.

Detective Chief Inspector Alan Banks responds to a call at St. Peter's Police Convalescence and Treatment Center. Detective Inspector Bill Quinn, a decorated officer, has been murdered by a crossbow bolt.

Quinn had two big cases in his past — could one have lead to his murder? He helped investigate a serial killer who was arrested. He also was an investigator in a missing person's case. Rachel Hewitt who was from England was on a trip to Estonia six years earlier and disappeared. Quinn handled the English side of the investigation. Banks believes it is the Hewitt case that led to Quinn's murder.

This novel has good characters and the plot starts out well, but when Banks travels to Estonia what happened to Hewitt becomes too obvious.





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