Conor Bard—the fortysomething-year-old homicide detective who doesn’t always play by the rules—is working on the streets of New York City’s Diamond District when he becomes involved in a deadly game of international intrigue.
Crystal Death begins as Detective Conor Bard is called off the stage of the Rhythm Bar, where his rock band is performing, to investigate the murder of a beautiful young Israeli diamond dealer in midtown Manhattan. Bard quickly learns that a priceless red diamond (yes, there are red diamonds) is missing and that the South African government is determined to find it.
The list of murder suspects grows quickly as Conor Bard and his new partner, Rosita Rubio, struggle to unravel the conflicting information they uncover.
Could the cold, calculating inspector from Johannesburg actually be the killer? Is he inserting himself into the investigation to cover his tracks? Or perhaps the lovesick jeweler, whose persistent advances were met with indifference by the victim, faced one rejection too many? Other suspects include an Indian diamond cutter who may or may not be linked to the red diamond; a billionaire collector from Abu Dhabi who will go to any lengths to own rare gems; a ruthless international smuggler; and a stunning Indian businesswoman whom Conor Bard falls for, of course.
Crystal Death gives readers a look inside the international diamond trade and paints an unsentimental, accurate picture of the life of a New York City detective. Fans of Hell’s Kitchen Homicide will welcome this second installment in the Conor Bard mystery series. The characters are genuine, the streets are real, and Kipps’s TV pedigree is evident once again in the fast pace and gritty reality of the story.
Realism isn't the strong suit of Edgar-winner Kipps's second police procedural featuring NYPD Det. Conor Bard (after 2009's Hell's Kitchen Homicide). Bard, who still hopes his music career will become viable enough to enable him to leave the force, interrupts a gig to respond to a high-profile murder scene. Someone has slit the throat of "stunningly beautiful" Israeli diamond dealer Zivah Gavish in her Manhattan apartment, leaving dozens of diamonds scattered across her body "like a galaxy of stars in a night sky." Suspects include a South African cop, Hendrik Kruger, who used to belong to a special police unit known as the Scorpions; and a fellow diamond dealer, Stanley Silberman, who hoped to have more than a professional relationship with the victim. Bard must also navigate having an attractive woman as his new partner. Other clich s include a serendipitous opportunity for Bard's music to hit the big time and a torrid affair with a witness. Readers will find few plot surprises.