"Multiple Wounds" by Alan Russell
Reviewed by Tracy Satterlee
San Diego detective Orson Cheever is called in on the murder of an art gallery owner.
At the crime scene, Cheever meets Holly Troy, a sculptor who exhibits her works at the gallery. Holly seems more than a little off, even for an artist, and Cheever learns that she suffers from a dissociative identity disorder.
In other words, she has multiple personalities. As the daughter of a classics professor, Holly's personalities take the forms of Greek myth--the Fates, Eris, Cronos, Nemesis, and Pandora, among others. Cheever suspects that Holly may hold the key to the murder, but can he navigate her fractured psyche well enough to unlock it?
If you missed this book when it was originally published in 1996, do yourself a favor and pick it up now. Don't worry if you're not up on your Greek myths; Cheever looks them up for you, and while the plot is complex, it's not inaccessible. Told through the multi-layered perspectives of Cheever, Holly, and Holly's therapist, Holly's past is gradually revealed. As Cheever spends more time with Holly, he becomes so engrossed in her personalities that the murder begins to take a back seat to his relationship with her. Of course, with eleven personalities to choose from, Holly could easily carry any book on her own. Fortunately, she doesn't have to, because Cheever does remember his responsibilities before too long, and the murderer is uncovered.
It's a unique and utterly captivating mystery.