A Strange Habit of Mind by Andrew Klavan is a very highly
recommended thriller and the second book in the Cameron Winter series. I
loved this second book even more than the first and am looking forward
to more novels featuring Cameron Winter in the future.
A young man, Adam Kemp, texts someone he trusts with two words, "Help
me," and then jumps off a building. The man he trusted is Cameron
Winter, currently an English professor who was once a spy with a secret
government agency called the Division. Winter tries to contact Kemp
unsuccessfully, and then looks into what happened. After talking to the
detective who investigated the case, Winter has a few more questions
about the reason for Kemp's final decision. Winter begins to look into
Kemp's life and after talking to Kemp's girlfriend, he begins to suspect
her brother-in-law, Big Tech billionaire Gerald Byrne may have had a
hand in Kemp's death, as well as the death of others.
Winter is a wonderfully unique and fully realized character. He has what he calls "a strange habit of mind." He is able to look at a situation from all angles and reach a clear understanding of what actually happened. He is also haunted by his past, questions the idea of spiritual faith, and struggles with a guilty conscious over what he has done. Excerpts from Winter's therapy sessions where he talks about his background and his guilt are included between chapters with more action. These help to create a picture of who Winter is and what he is struggling with.
Once I started reading, I was totally engrossed in the story from
start to finish. The mysteries that need to be solved, the suspense
created as the danger rises, and the analytical problems that must be
handled within the thriller made the action and the characters
memorable. Winter may know what his "strange habit of mind" is telling
him, but it is sheer pleasure in following along, putting the clues
together, and figuring out what he knew long before the reader.
The writing is absolutely excellent, as one would expect from a seasoned, experienced two time Edgar winner. Klavan has provided an exceptional second novel for the series. As a strong, independent, modern woman I loved this novel and am looking forward to another installment in the series. A Strange Habit of Mind was a pleasure to read.