I received The Dante Connection through NetGalley, and I enjoyed it enough to immediately look for the first in the series. To my surprise and good fortune, Amazon Kindle offered The Gauguin Connection for free!
I will review The Gauguin Connection first because it is the first in the series featuring Genevieve Lenard, a highly functioning autistic with an off-the-charts IQ. Genevieve has learned to function in society, but severely limits her interaction with others. Her specialty is non-verbal communication; she is able to read people by their facial expressions and their body language. When Genevieve meets Philip, he is so impressed with her skills that he hires her at his prestigious insurance firm to "read" people and to identify patterns in cases of insurance fraud.
Because Genevieve doesn't have good interpersonal skills and is easily overloaded in social situations, her office is a viewing room where she studies taped interviews to determine whether or not the individuals are telling the truth; in the safety of her viewing room, she observes, but doesn't have to interact. Unable to deal well with people, the taped interviews suit her perfectly. She loves her work, feels useful and successful, and manages her life within her circumspect limits. Philip accepts her as she is and values her exceptional abilities and contributions to the firm.
When her Philip asks her to look into the murder of a young artist, Genevieve's life undergoes a sea change. She finds herself dealing with a disheveled and irascible detective, a sympathetic art thief and his giant friend, a skilled computer hacker, and several unsavory villains.
Perhaps Genevieve adapts a little too easily to these intrusions to her OC life style, but the novel manages to be both fun and suspenseful.
Although, I did not read this in order and The Dante Connection was great on its own, I'm glad I ordered The Gauguin Connection and got some background.
Mystery. 2012. Print Length: 439 pages.