Short Review: Every Contact Leaves A Trace

Every Contact Leaves A TraceI finished Every Contact Leaves A Trace by Elanor Dymott this morning and highly recommend it. It’s foolish to start a good mystery at 1:30 a.m., but I didn’t expect that I would not be able to put it down.  I wanted to learn what trade-off Dymott made when she chose not to sustain the tension she created with a masterful use of the present tense and a narrative voice that conveyed tremendous emotion with paradoxical constricted affect, and I wanted to know just how unreliable that narrator was. I’d like to think the protraction of the novel was a device that permits the reader to experience the magnitude of the narrator’s grief, but instead, Dymott chose to indulge a great, and at times, exasperating, reveal, when she could have produced a gem so brilliant at half the length, she would have stood next to Ford Maddox Ford rather than in his shadow. It is, however, an exceptional book, precise, and, at times, gorgeous. If Dymott only gets better, I can’t wait to read whatever she writes next.