I searched for Romanian authors on Google because I was interested in reading more books from other countries and came up with the name E. O. Chirovici. What was my surprise then to find that The Book of Mirrors is set in Princeton, New Jersey. I don’t know why this should have been a surprise, it just was.
Literary agent Peter Katz receives as a submission the fragment of a manuscript purporting to tell the true story of the murder years ago of a renowned Princeton professor, Joseph Wieder. When he attempts to contact the author, Richard Flynn, who at the time had been a student suspected of the murder, he finds Flynn is in the hospital, and he soon dies. Searches by Flynn’s partner for the complete manuscript turn up nothing, so Katz hires a journalist friend to try to find the truth.
The friend, John Keller, finds that all the witnesses seem to have their own ideas of what happened. Although Flynn, for example, kept his housemate Laura’s name out of the investigation, Keller comes to believe that she was manipulating him. Laura claims that Flynn murdered Wieder out of a mistaken jealousy. Wieder’s caretaker claims that Laura was at the scene of the crime.
Keller isn’t able to either find the manuscript or get to the truth, so the task falls from one person’s hand to another until it is finally solved.
It’s hard to describe this book. Because of its basis in the past, it doesn’t have much action—it’s just a series of interviews. Chirovici has a broader sort of philosophical point to make here, but it’s nothing very profound. I found the novel somewhat clever and interesting, but my attention flagged at times.