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Caught Dead: A Rick Van Lam Mystery    by Andrew Lanh order for
Caught Dead
by Andrew Lanh
Order:  USA  Can
Poisoned Pen, 2014 (2014)
Hardcover, Softcover
* *   Reviewed by Mary Ann Smyth

Hartford, Connecticut is the home of a small Vietnamese community. Its residents are horrified when a prominent member is gunned down in a drive-by. The police have written the death off as an accidental shooting, believing that Mary Le Vu was not the target.

Mary's sister Molly insists that her identical twin's death was no accidental shooting, that she was targeted. And Mary wants to know why and who fired the gun that killed her sister. More death follows.

Enter Rick Van Lam, an Amerasian who has never really been accepted by the pure-blood Vietnamese, with the exception of Hank Nguyen, Rick's old friend and sidekick. Together they plan to solve the crime before discord escalates. Rick's ex-wife still holds feelings for him and she joins their task force. The disparity between the sisters' lives could be a factor. Mary was the wife of a poor grocery store owner and Molly is the wife of a very wealthy man.

The focus that author Andrew Lahn uses as a base for his first mystery novel, Caught Dead, is a fresh new spin. Although we all wish to live in harmony, (don't we?), we often realize this is not realistic. In this new series we see a clash of cultures as well as the different thinking of younger people from those entrenched in the old ways.

The streets of this Little Saigon bristle with rumors of who is responsible. The old adage 'Follow the money' is trite but oh, so true. I welcome Andrew Lahn to the mystery-writing field and look forward to the next chapter in Rick Van Lam's life.

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