cover image The Man in the Crooked Hat

The Man in the Crooked Hat

Harry Dolan. Putnam, $27 (368p) ISBN 978-0-399-15797-4

Set in Detroit, this relentless thriller from Dolan (The Last Dead Girl) focuses on an ex-cop’s search for the man who murdered his wife. Two years after Jack Pellum’s beloved Olivia, a photographer, was strangled near the Huron River, Jack remains obsessed with finding the killer, whom he believes to be a man wearing a fedora he saw watching her a few days before her death. He continues to blanket the city with flyers bearing the suspect’s image. Then Carl Dumisani, his former partner, reports that someone has written, “There’s a killer, and he wears a crooked hat,” on the wall near the body of a recent suicide. This news leads Jack to Paul Rook, who thinks that his mother was killed by Olivia’s murderer. Dolan has a gift for making the circumstances of even minor characters moving, such as a 30-something man resigned to a meaningless life working in a coffee shop. Superior prose, plotting, and characterization put Dolan in the top rank of crime novelists.[em] Agent: Victoria Skurnik, Levine Greenberg Literary Agency. (Nov.) [/em]