Review - Reinventing Cato by Barbara Elsborg

book cover

Reinventing Cato

by Barbara Elsborg

My rating:

Volume 3 of Unfinished Business

Tags: Contemporary UK Setting Mystery

Posted in Book Reviews on July 19, 2021

After a few disastrous relationships, Cato decides to avoid romantic entanglements, never spending more than a night with people he meets in bars, often not even knowing their name. But as midnight approaches on New Years Eve at a party he'd rather not be at, Cato resolves to become a better person, to “reinvent” himself. Vigge is not quite out at work, where he's a police detective. He doesn't trust easily and has some rather heavy baggage from his childhood. When he agrees to give the odd ‘priest’ a ride, he doesn't think anything will come of it.

Cato is Devan's brother, so while you don't have to have read the other books of the series to enjoy this one, you'll certainly be better informed about who Devan and Jonty are if you've already read The Making of Jonty Bloom. This story, like the other two novels in the series, has a similar feel with lots of snarky language. Cato isn't exactly Jonty Bloom, but he's not far from that kind of personality, and Jonty himself makes quite a few appearances in the story.

What is different about this book is that it's much more of a mystery than the first two novels. While there was an element of mystery or crime drama to the others, the question of who is harassing Cato and his family is a central driver of this story. Of course, the fact that Vigge is a policeman provides a reason for the two men to keep in contact about the case, even when things aren't going well in their relationship.

Cato is a quite likeable character. As noted, there's a bit of Jonty about him, but they're quite different from each other. Cato is an academic high flyer with a potential job with NASA, so he's in a different league intellectually, but he's still approachable, which makes him a very believable person.

Vigge is also a very well drawn character. His habit of assuming the worst, while understandable, makes him a slightly less likeable person. However, he does grow over the course of the story and, like Cato, is determined to be a better person. While the mystery at the story's core lends a great deal of seriousness to the book, there are still so many laugh-out-loud moments that it's hard not to think of it as a very funny story.

“Reinventing Cato” is available from Amazon.