Otho Eskin


Lawyer and former diplomat launches new crime thriller series featuring homicide detective Marko Zorn

A lawyer and former diplomat, Otho Eskin served in the U.S. Army and in the U.S. Foreign Service in Syria, Yugoslavia, Iceland and Berlin (then the capital of the German Democratic Republic). He went to high school in Paris, attended college in Maine and studied law in Washington, D.C.

Eskin was in Berlin in the bad old days before the infamous wall was torn down where he was assigned to the U.S. Embassy as a political officer and considered an accredited spy by the East German Stasi. Otho traveled widely and was deeply involved in international negotiations on the law of the sea, deep seabed mining and the peaceful uses of outer space which took him to the United Nations Headquarters in New York and Geneva, and to London and Paris and to dozens of countries around the world. The international travel wasn’t as glamorous as it may sound. Mostly it was airports, hotels, coffee with some minister, then back to the airport.

Eskin is an award-winning playwright, whose work has been produced in New York, Washington, Melbourne, Novosibirsk and in cities in the Baltic and in the former Yugoslavia. For those unfamiliar with Russia’s geography, Novosibirsk is in Siberia and he missed that production. Learn more about Eskin on his website.

The Reflecting Pool is his first novel. Read our review here.


The Reflecting Pool (2020)

Biggest literary influences:

Graham Greene, John Le Carré, Somerset Maugham, John Grisham, Lee Child, Stephen King.

Last book read:

Kingdom of Shadows by Alan Furst; Sapiens: A Brief History of Mankind by Yuval Noah Harari.

The book that changed your life: I’m still waiting for that one.

Your favorite literary character:  

Le Carré’s George Smiley — a British career intelligence officer — appears self-effacing and ordinary but he always outwits even the most devious and dangerous adversaries.

Currently working on: The sequel to his debut thriller The Reflecting Pool, Headshot features the same protagonist, detective Marko Zorn. Headshot is set in Washington, D.C., against a background of international intrigue, Russian plots, the Brooklyn Russian mafia and the murder of a beautiful actress while appearing on stage.

Words to live by: “Fear is a reaction. Courage is a decision.” Winston Churchill

Advice for aspiring authors:

Read lots of good books, books that you really like, but be sure to get out of the house now and then. That’s where the real world is. 


The Reflecting Pool is one of the best debut thrillers I have ever read, and I’ve read a lot of them. Eskin is a master craftsman weaving his characters through different storylines to the point you feel your head is spinning. That’s the kind of novel I love to read, and The Reflecting Pool does not disappoint. Marko Zorn rivals Harry Bosch in his ability to get past the rules, and rivals Amos Decker in his determination to get justice. Marko knows how to walk a line between legal and not-so-legal and still get the job done. This is the first of the Marko Zorn series and I can’t wait to see what’s in store for him next. I read this book in two evenings (well into the night) and had I not gone to sleep in the middle of a paragraph on night one, I just may well have finished it in one sitting. This is a worthy read for anyone who likes thriller suspense with cops and bad guys.” 

Linda Thompson, host of The Authors Show 

The Reflecting Pool is a mystery-thriller constructed along classic lines. In unorthodox homicide detective Marko Zorn, Otho Eskin has created the best crime hero this side of Michael Connelly’s Harry Bosch and the result is a slam-dunk success. Woven from the fabric of masters like Ross McDonald and Robert Crais, this riveting page-turner is never afraid to cut its own cloth to terrific results.” 

Jon Land, USA Today best-selling author of the Murder, She Wrote series 

 “Rough and ragged as the world it so vividly creates, The Reflecting Pool crackles with twists and turns, making for a fun and heady combination of suspense and intrigue.” 

Steve Berry, New York Times bestselling author

 The Reflecting Pool by Otho Eskin is the best crime thriller I’ve read in years, and homicide detective Marko Zorn is a character I’d like to have a beer with—so long as he’s on my side. Bravo!”

 —John Gilstrap, author of the Jonathan Grave thriller series