Four Corners of Night

Craig C. Holden, Author Delacorte Press $23.95 (384p) ISBN 978-0-385-31625-5
The kidnapping of a teenage girl nearly tears apart a close friendship between a pair of cops in Holden's powerful, lyrical third novel (after The Last Sanctuary). Max Steiner is the first-person narrator, an investigator in the Personal Crimes Section of the police force who gets emotionally involved after a 12-year-old girl disappears while riding her bike in the unnamed Ohio city where he and his partner, Bank, have worked for years. The investigation seems straightforward, but the kidnapping pushes a number of hot buttons for scarred police hero Bank, whose daughter disappeared a decade ago in a similar case that was never solved. The case quickly spills over into the personal lives of both protagonists, giving Holden the opportunity to examine the problematic relationship between Max and Bank's wife, Sarah. Meanwhile, Bank distances himself from their brief involvement by resorting to a series of strong-armed tactics to locate the missing girl. The personal entanglements become even more complicated when Max's rebellious daughter disappears and his efforts to track down his own child seem to implicate several members of the department's kidnapping task force. Holden gracefully sustains narrative tension, shifting from the effort to recover the kidnapped girl to the darker, psychological effect of loss on two families. Aside from the astonishing ending, what makes Holden's latest work noteworthy is the depth of his characterizations and the assuredness with which he handles chronological leaps to develop parallel plots and subplots. Holden is an accomplished storyteller who delves deeper beneath the surface with each successive book. $100,000 ad/promo; author tour. (Jan.)
Reviewed on: 11/30/1998
Release date: 12/01/1998
Analog Audio Cassette - 978-0-553-52609-7
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