|Publish Date:||Oct 1999|
|Number of Pages:||336|
|Shipping Weight (in pounds):||0.35|
|Product in Inches (L x W x H):||4.25 x 7.0 x 1.0|
Paul Graves, a writer of dark, historical mysteries, is hired to research the 50-year-old murder of an innocent girl and write a story that might explain it. His own tortured past as childhood witness to his sister's murder colors his every thought and action. Using shifting points of view, Paul presents his investigation as a series of leads that turn false, forcing him to revise his view of the case.
In a multiple-twist ending, he and his fictional character seem to merge, even as a female acquaintance appears destined to become a character in a future story. Cook has previously used the premise of a troubled narrator looking back at a tragedy that has shaped many lives, most recently in Breakheart Hill (LJ 7/95) and the Edgar Award-winning The Chatham School Affair (LJ 7/96). Here, his Gothic, even melodramatic, prose style emphasizes mood and setting but will often seem repetitious and jarring to contemporary readers. This may appeal to mystery fans wanting something closer to Poe than to Chandler; those wanting more action than angst should pass.
- Roland C. Person, Southern Illinois Univ. Lib., Carbondale
(c). Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Last year's Edgar Award winner for best novel cooks up another sizz ler. When he's called on to solve a 50-year-old murder, second-rate mystery writer Paul Graves confronts not only a terrible event in his pastis sister's murder but his own potential for evil.
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