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Dark Mirror (Brock & Kolla, #10)
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Dark Mirror (Brock & Kolla #10)

3.78  ·  Rating Details  ·  301 Ratings  ·  43 Reviews
Newly promoted to Detective Inspector, Kathy Kolla of the Serious Crimes Unit is called in by the forensic pathologist regarding the recent sudden death of a London student from what he’s determined to be arsenic poisoning. Marion Summers had no reason to be in contact with arsenic and, though once common, arsenic is now very hard to get hold of. The more Kolla investigate ...more
Hardcover, 336 pages
Published September 29th 2009 by Minotaur Books (first published 2009)
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(showing 1-30 of 524)
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This book and I were meant to be together.

I found it in the clearance section at one of the bookstores I frequent and thought, meh, looks interesting, the cover is neat. I like having books like these on my shelves to read when I'm sick or between other big reads. I was waiting for some library books to come in and needed something smallish for my commute, and so I took this one off my shelf to give it a shot. And that's when I realized we belonged together.

London? Cool. Never been, but dying to
Sep 22, 2012 Linda rated it it was amazing
Shelves: mystery-crime
Dark Mirror is my first exposure to the Kolla/Brock mystery series. A brilliant grad student, the beautiful Marion Summers, dies in ghastly fashion in the middle of the exclusive London Library. Marion was poised to present a shocking new theory about the Pre-Raphaelite artists and their women, and the role that arsenic played in their entangled lives and deaths. When arsenic poisoning is ID'd as the cause of Marion's, DCI Brock assigns newly promoted DI Kathy Kolla to this very puzzling case. T ...more
Nov 15, 2012 Karen rated it really liked it
Love my mysteries with a bit of history mixed up in them! This one was chock full of it, a part of literary history in Great Britain that I actually didn't pay a lot of attention to when I was in college for English Literature because I kind of thought the whole group of people were odd...I still do. This book is about a student who dies from arsenic poisoning. She was doing in depth graduate study of Dante Gabrielle Rosetti and his group, and some of them including his wife, were believed to ha ...more
Jan 14, 2012 Laura rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: campus-crime
I'm adding this to my "Campus Crime" shelf even though it doesn't all take place at the university. But Marion's doctoral work and the extensive scenes in London's various libraries make this wholly academic, thus, a lot of fun.

Maitland again hits it out of the park with a fascinating, well researched, atmosphere rich, and well drawn mystery. I'd love to buy him a cup of coffee and ask him all about his research processes for these books. It's so detailed and must be amazingly fun to do. Kathy K
Sam Still Reading
Mar 03, 2012 Sam Still Reading rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: fans of a good mystery
Recommended to Sam Still Reading by: love the series
I always look forward to reading a Brock and Kolla mystery; Barry Maitland always has a well thought out plot with many twists and turns. By now, I’m familiar with the two main characters (DCI David Brock and DI Kathy Kolla) but the new characters are always a treat to read. Dark Mirror is no exception. Maitland has created some great characters – from the murdered Miriam, whose life we learn about after her death to the suspects in her murder, such as her university lecturer. Maitland also crea ...more
Jun 17, 2014 Joe rated it it was ok
Shelves: mystery-thriller
This is the 10th adventure of British police inspector Kathy Kolla and her mentor David Brock. On the whole this is a very good mystery/police procedural series - with one caveat particularly prevalent in the early books - and which unfortunately returns front and center here in Dark Mirror. That fault, portraying Ms. Kolla as an idiot, or at the very least, a 1950's B-movie actress.

The case here is an interesting one. A young female graduate student collapses in a library and soon after dies -
Dec 05, 2015 Patricia rated it really liked it
Shelves: mystery
I haven't kept up with this series but I plan to remedy this. I like Brock and Kolla and I like Maitland's style. His evocations of London's neighborhoods and architecture really establish the setting and make the series come to life and the characters have grown on me over the years. The relationship between Chief Inspector Brock and CI Kolla as his protégé is well-drawn; Kolla likes and respects Brock but doesn't idolize him and is frustrated when he doesn't see things her way, and Brock on hi ...more
Jun 08, 2009 Karen rated it really liked it
Fans of Barry Maitland's Brock & Kolla series have had a wait on their hands. The last book - Spider Trap - was released in 2006, with a standalone book Bright Air in 2007. Leaving aside the eagerness with which we fans wait for the next book in a favourite series, there's also the slight nagging doubt always - has the wait been worth it?

In DARK MIRROR Kathy's been promoted and Brock seems to being forced away from front-line policing, more into administration. They are called into the inves
Carolyn Wallis
Mar 28, 2015 Carolyn Wallis rated it liked it
Okay, I had to keep reading to find out the detective's conclusion so it was engaging in that respect. I enjoyed a setting in the British academic world. The writing is clean but lacking a descriptive nature. Everything pulls together at the end for everyone but the reader. Though I was looking for another series, this one won't be it.
Jan 19, 2016 Stacy rated it liked it
A lot of characters to keep the reader engaged. Lately it's been important to me that characters are well developed, and this book did a decent job of that given the small page count and details of the story that also had to be packed in.
Annette Welsford
Oct 21, 2014 Annette Welsford rated it it was amazing
Really enjoyed it. He captures the truth of hard slog detective work beautifully. Proves that ott violence is not necessary. Totally believable. Couldn't put it down for long.
Nov 07, 2009 Susan rated it really liked it
Shelves: mystery-england
When beautiful graduate student Marion Summers collapses at the London Library, only the pathologist suspects foul play. When his tests show arsenic, newly promoted Detective Inspector Kathy Kolla cannot, at first, even find Marion's home--she moved from student quarters several months ago, and neither her academic adviser, her best friend, nor her grasping mother knows where she is living. The more Kolla looks into Marion's life, the more peculiar it appears. Then another student dies, and the ...more
Neil Taylor
Dec 26, 2014 Neil Taylor rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed this novel. It was fast paced and had an interesting plot. I also learnt a lot about arsenic.
Aug 27, 2010 Carol rated it really liked it
Shelves: mystery, british
Another dependably good mystery featuring the British team of Brock and Kolla. Kolla has been promoted and gets her first murder investigation to head -- but it's a rather odd one. Marion Summers, a twenty-something graduate student, dies of arsenic poisoning while doing research at a London library. It's not entirely clear whether this is murder or suicide, and as Kolla looks deeper into Marion's life, she finds all sorts of secrets. I did like the way Marion's research topic -- concerning the ...more
Mickey Reid
Apr 03, 2014 Mickey Reid rated it really liked it
This was a real thriller. I really enjoyed it. I am glad to see the Barry Maitland series is being reprinted. They are all well worth it.
Jan 11, 2016 Mary rated it really liked it
Good British crime novel with duo of Brock and Kolla. #10 in the series
Tasha Kane
Sep 30, 2015 Tasha Kane rated it liked it
It took a little bit for me to get into this book but once I did I was hooked. I will definitely need to check out more of the Brock and Kolla books.
Edana Cichanowicz
Dec 27, 2014 Edana Cichanowicz rated it really liked it
Traditional Scotland Yard police procedural. Excellent series.
Ruth Bingham
May 02, 2014 Ruth Bingham rated it really liked it
An excellent crime thriller set in UK. I would like to read more of Barry Maitland's books.
Book Bazaar
I hadn't read a Barry Maitland novel before and I was pleasantly surprised.

This is a detective novel set in London and has 2 main characters who apparently have featured in a number of other tales. You do not have to have read the other novels though as this one stands quite well alone - there are some references to past cases but nothing that made me feel like I was missing an integral piece.

If you enjoy a good police procedural then give this one a go - good to see an Aussie crime writer doin
Joanna Warrens
Pretty good police procedural.
Apr 29, 2012 Gail rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: mystery fans
This is the first book by this author that I have read of this series but it was not a problem in following the story. I loved the whole story and found the theme of arsenic poisoning fascinating. I didnt care for the character who was murdered, Marion but that didnt keep me from thoroughly enjoying this well written murder mystery. I did really like DI Kathy Kolla and her superior DCI David Brock though and their characters were strong and carried the whole story to its completion...
Mar 28, 2013 Connie rated it liked it
Not as good as all his others. The plot is a little far fetched and the history part is very long winded and not that interesting. I once again did not guess the murderer and found that a surprise and was disappointed at the way in which Kathy was portrayed in this one, as not being all that smart and making some rather large mistakes. Hopefully, the next one I read will be more up to his usual best.
Jul 25, 2012 Cat. rated it really liked it
Shelves: mystery, fiction
Creepy. Poison kind of freaks me out a little. Lots of stuff about libraries. I'm wondering if it really is this easy to look at the borrowing records of people in UK libraries? Cuz--and this is key--this book would NEVER work in the US because we don't keep a list of what people use, nor will librarians voluntarily (i.e., without a warrant/subpoena) give up to the police any requests made by patrons.
Gary Van Cott
The theme of this book is the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood which was a group of English painters, poets, and critics, founded in 1848, I had never heard of them although two of the people connected to this group John Everett Millais and the critic John Ruskin are mentioned in the Martin Edwards Lake District Mysteries. Good but probably not one of the best in this series.
Jan 21, 2012 Autumn rated it really liked it
Of course I'd be the one who would start a series at the last book, but I truly loved the book. I didnt feel like the characters were so hard to follow because I hadnt read any other ones first. Kathy is independant even though Brock was her boss. He respected her and actually helped in the investigation. I cant wait to read the other ones.
Dec 13, 2011 Katie rated it really liked it
This book is a perfect mystery, suicide case turns into a murder and people keep getting charge but most of them are innocent but then BAM. At the end it took me by surprise of who actually murder the poor girl which is why it was a great novel.
Jan 09, 2012 Angie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery, series, suspense
I just love these Brock and Kolla mysteries. They twist and turn and give you just enough so that I can figure out the who a couple of pages before the reveal. Thanks again Maitland. Keep it up...forever!
Jul 12, 2010 Tom added it
When a library patron drops dead in the reading room I tend to take notice. Its a very satisfying mystery filled with old scndle, erudite scholarship and good police work. Well worth it
Dec 20, 2013 Jenna rated it liked it
This book was a "blind date" through the library. The idea forced me to read something I wouldn't pick out on my own. I enjoyed the book and am glad I gave it a chance.
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Barry Maitland is the author of the acclaimed Brock and Kolla series of crime mystery novels, which are set in London, where Barry grew up after his family moved there.

His books have been described as whydunits as much as whodunits, concerned with the devious histories and motivations of their characters. Barry's background in architecture drew him to the structured character of the mystery novel,
More about Barry Maitland...

Other Books in the Series

Brock & Kolla (1 - 10 of 12 books)
  • The Marx Sisters (Brock & Kolla, #1)
  • The Malcontenta (Brock & Kolla, #2)
  • All My Enemies (Brock & Kolla, #3)
  • The Chalon Heads (Brock & Kolla, #4)
  • Silvermeadow (Brock & Kolla, #5)
  • Babel (Brock & Kolla, #6)
  • The Verge Practice (Brock & Kolla, #7)
  • No Trace (Brock & Kolla, #8)
  • Spider Trap (Brock & Kolla, #9)
  • Chelsea Mansions (Brock & Kolla, #11)

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