cover image The Man Who Never Returned

The Man Who Never Returned

Peter Quinn, Overlook, $24.95 (336p) ISBN 978-1-59020-388-0

Quinn delivers a satisfying solution to the real-life mystery of Joseph Crater, a New York City judge who disappeared in 1930, in this stellar hard-boiled historical, a sequel to The Hour of the Cat (2005). In 1955, a New York newspaper magnate offers PI Fintan Dunne carte blanche to investigate the case in the hope that Dunne will provide him with a sensational exclusive. Crater vanished just as an official inquiry into judicial corruption, ordered by then governor Franklin Delano Roosevelt, was getting underway. Perhaps Crater fled to avoid prosecution—or someone bumped him off because he knew too much. Restless in retirement, Dunne accepts the offer, despite his skepticism that such a cold trail can be meaningfully pursued. Quinn not only makes the existence of clues at such a late date plausible but also concocts an explanation that's both logical and surprising. The depth and complexity of the lead character is a big plus. (July)