The Man Who Understood Cats (John Thinnes/Jack Caleb Mysteries)

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9780312093327: The Man Who Understood Cats (John Thinnes/Jack Caleb Mysteries)
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Dr. Jack Caleb, a Chicago psychiatrist with two cats, and John Thinnes, a police detective, form an uneasy partnership as they join forces in an investigation into an accountant's supposed suicide. A first novel.

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From Publishers Weekly:

Winner of the publisher's Best First Malice Domestic Novel award in 1991, this assured and unusual debut boasts expressive language and sinewy notions of suspense. We never know the quiet, compulsive accountant whose death the police suspect wasn't suicide (a lefty wouldn't likely use his right hand to pull the trigger). The case brings together the victim's prominent psychiatrist, Jack Caleb, and streetwise police officer John Thinnes. From the moment the two meet, their stories, their conflict and their grudging mutual admiration lead the reader far into the troubled hearts of both men. Jack is enduring the death of a lover and the alarming aftermath of his Vietnam experience. John's marriage is unraveling under long work hours and silences that echo with resentment and hurt. Both men are looking for the killer in a plot that extends to the victim's possession of a lithograph, an art gallery, a dead young artist, a tortured father and a large real estate empire. The unmasking of the murderer comes as a shock to the reader who, having been drawn so deep into the lives of Jack and John, will have all but forgotten that a mystery awaits a solution. A cunning, adroit debut by a pseudonymous author.
Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Kirkus Reviews:

St. Martin's 1991 winner of the ``Best First Malice Domestic Novel'': When compulsive CPA Allen Finley is found in his home dead of an apparently self-inflicted gunshot wound, the only two people who don't believe it's suicide--Finley's psychiatrist, Dr. James (Jack) Caleb, and burned-out Chicago cop John Thinnes--are thrown together in wary intimacy. Thinnes invites Caleb on an unforgettable night in the patrol car with his unenthusiastic partner Ray Crowne; Caleb asks Thinnes's help when he's blackmailed by somebody who doesn't realize he's out of the closet and then is set up on a drug charge; Caleb helps Thinnes prove that some photos threatening to split up his marriage have been faked; and still Thinnes keeps wondering whether Caleb isn't his likeliest suspect.... The mystery that links Finley to such clients as the prominent, dysfunctional Margolis family is merely serviceable--though adroitly spun out--but the tensely nuanced relationship between Caleb and Thinnes makes this pseudonymous debut memorable--and Dymmoch (``the pen name of a woman...driver of a municipal bus'') definitely worth watching. -- Copyright ©1993, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.

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Michael Allen Dymmoch
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