THE FATE OF THOMAS H. COOK

carrOne of my favorite authors is Thomas H. Cook and I look forward to reading each of his novels as they are released because I can never predict what is coming.  In his latest, The Fate of Katherine Carr, he introduces us to George Gates who is a former travel writer wracked with guilt because one rainy day he failed to pick up his son Teddy at the bus stop, choosing instead to try to finish a piece he was writing.   He never saw his son again.  When a former missing persons officer tries to interest him in a twenty year old case as one of the local features he writes for his small town paper, it introduces George to the story of Katherine Carr. 

Carr has been missing for twenty years and in an average writer’s hands this would lead to some clumsy connection to Teddy’s disappearance.  Instead, because we are in the hands of a master storyteller, we need to read the book to discover what is the connection between all the people who are dying in this book, all the people who are guilty and all the people who are seeking the truth. 

This novel is Gothic in atmosphere and at times reads like a ghost story in the style of Edgar Allan Poe.  It has multiple characters who will challenge the reader with their motivations and meanings. 

The cool thing for a reader like me is that the truth is never revealed in an easy fashion but instead the reader must make their own decisions about this story.  If this creates a sense of frustration at having to think for yourself, it will also charge up readers who will then want to discuss it with their friends at the book discussion.

The fate of Thomas H. Cook is that all of his faithful readers are waiting for his next story.

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About the Author:

Gary Niebuhr is the author of Make Mine a Mystery (2003), Caught up in Crime (2009), and other readers' guides to mystery and detective fiction. He was a Booklist contributor from 2008-2014.

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