The Ishtar Cup by Murray Lee Eiland Jr is book 1 in the detective series featuring Bartram Northcote. An anonymous client hires Northcote to locate the mysterious Ishtar Cup, a relic that has survived through the Gulf War and that has been taken out of Iraq. The competent, knowledgeable, and suave detective could have felt most comfortable and confident in his mission except for the fact that his client is as mysterious as the artifact he’s hired to trace and wants him to follow a suspect without any disguises. Could this be one of those jobs that could bring in the kind of rewards the detective wants or is it merely a set-up?
“THAT’S THE LAST I EVER SAW of Vanessa Vader, standing there on the silk Tabriz carpet by my bed. Now she lives only in my memory, which may be stimulated every December by a Christmas card.”
Eiland Jr has created a very interesting and compelling character who will certainly win over the hearts of readers of detective novels. Bartram Northcote is a very intelligent man, a writer and an avid reader of detective fiction, a character who always seems to have something held up his sleeve. The story is told in the first person narrative and in a tone that immediately draws the reader in. Eiland Jr has skillfully mastered the art of developing a strong connection between readers and his characters, a connection that is born from a skillful blend of elements —mastery of the art of storytelling, the finesse of his humor, and the powerful use of plot elements like suspense. The story is fast without leaving out those details that embellish the plot. Fans of Lee Child will certainly be smitten by The Ishtar Cup. This book is a winner, a highly recommended book for anyone looking for a fun read.
Reviewed by Romuald Dzemo