Another Review at MyShelf.Com

Publisher:  Avon Mystery
Release Date:  February 1995
ISBN:  0380722658
Format Reviewed:  Paperback
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Genre:  Mystery/Thriller
Reviewed: 2003
Reviewer:   Dennis Collins
Reviewer Notes:  

The Man Who Understood Cats
By Michael Allen Dymmoch  

     Not being much of a cat fancier myself, I was somewhat reluctant to review a book with the word "cat" in the title. However, when a story has a good plot, great characters, and is well written, it doesn't really matter what species of animals are in it. I must admit that it helped to discover that the cat did not solve the crime.

     Allen Finley, one of Dr. Jack Caleb's psychiatric patients, is found dead, and appears to have committed suicide. Dr. Jack rejects that theory on the basis of his relationship with the deceased. In his opinion, the victim had no suicidal tendencies.

     Chicago detective John Thinnes shares that view, based on a cop's natural tendency toward skepticism and his assessment of the crime scene.

     The two men follow distinctly different, though cleverly interwoven paths to prove that the death was actually a homicide.

     Through much of this novel, Detective Thinnes regards Dr. Jack Caleb as a suspect, gleaning what information he can while tiptoeing around the sin of sharing police information with a civilian.

     Eventually they become a team, combining a policeman's knack for defining detail with a psychiatrist's insight into the human psyche.

     The plot is just diverse enough to keep you interested, but not so complex that it confuses you. The balance works well to provide an extremely enjoyable read. You'll get through this book in a hurry, simply because it's a pleasure to bury yourself in a story well told.

     Chicago headquartered Michael Dymmoch has definitely increased her fan following. Consider me hooked. Her lyrical prose, picturesque descriptions, and gritty dialog blend beautifully as they carry the reader on an easy-to-follow adventure. This one's a winner.