"Tolkien's writing has a timeless quality and] the haunting undertones of other great masters of mystery." -USA Today
"Compulsively readable... Crafted with cunning and imbued with menace, The King of Diamonds adds luster to Tolkien's growing reputation as a brilliant star in the thriller firmament." --Richmond Times Dispatch
"A thick web of family tensions and psychological dysfunction with a whodunit chaser... The King of Diamonds] is elegantly written, with Masterpiece Theatre pacing and embellishments." --Kirkus, starred review
A sophisticated mystery layered with dark secrets from the past and slow-burning suspense
It's 1960, and David Swain is two years into his life sentence for murdering the lover of his ex-girlfriend, Katya. In the dead of night, David escapes, and Katya is found murdered. Inspector Trave of the Oxford Police heads the manhunt for David. Trave's suspicions lead him to Katya's uncle Titus Osman, a rich diamond dealer, and his sinister brother-in-law, Franz Claes who will go to any lengths to conceal his past connections to the Nazis. But Trave's motives are suspect - Osman is having an affair with Trave's estranged wife. Once David is captured, Trave is willing to risk everything-professionally and personally-to pursue his obsessive belief in Osman's guilt.
In this expertly crafted novel, Simon Tolkien has once again written a gripping and nuanced thriller laced with historical detail, treachery, and his signature writing style--a uniquely suspenseful blend that the Los Angeles Times called "half Christie and half Grisham."
The King of Diamonds is a Kirkus Reviews Best of 2011 Mysteries title.