Cover image for The man who never returned
Title:
The man who never returned
Author:
Quinn, Peter (Peter A.)
Personal Author:
Edition:
First edition.
Publication Information:
New York : Overlook Press, [2010]

©2010
Physical Description:
333 pages ; 24 cm
Summary:
Judge Joe Crater¹s disappearance in 1930 spawned countless conspiracy theories and captured the imagination of a nation caught in the grip of The Depression. Fifteen years later, Fintan Dunne the detective encountered in Quinn¹s novel Hour of the Cat, recently retired and bored, answers a summons to New York where he is asked to solve the old case for a newspaper magnate only interested in making a profit from the story.
Language:
English
ISBN:
9781590203880
Format :
Book

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Summary

Summary

Fifteen years later, Fintan Dunne the detective encountered in Quinn¹s novel Hour of the Cat, recently retired and bored, answers a summons to New York where he is asked to solve the old case for a newspaper magnate only interested in making a profit from the story. Peter Quinn once again has written a compelling blend of history and fiction that is simply unputdownable.


Author Notes

Peter Quinn is the author of the novel Banished Children of Eve (winner of an American Book Award) and previously served as speechwriter for New York governors Hugh Carey and Mario Cuomo. A third-generation New Yorker whose granparents were born in Ireland, he is currently Editorial Director for Time Warner and lives in Hastings, New York.


Reviews 3

Booklist Review

In August 1930, New York State Supreme Court Judge Joseph Crater left a Manhattan restaurant and was never seen again. Less than a year after the crash of the stock market, Crater became the embodiment of the fears, and perhaps the frail hopes, of Americans facing the Great Depression and soon to face WWII and the cold war. Was Crater rubbed out by the Mob, or did he simply disappear to find happiness as an ordinary Joe? Twenty-five years later, a Rupert Murdoch-like newspaper publisher hires private investigator Fintan Dunne to do what the NYPD couldn't do: solve the mystery of Crater's disappearance. Freely mixing history, mystery, and novelistic license, Quinn offers a noirish tale of Tammany Hall politics, sex, crime, Broadway moguls, and cops, populated by more than a dozen interesting characters. Dunne's detection seems to come a bit too easily, but Quinn's rich, insightful, evocative descriptions of New York, both in Crater's time and in 1955, will certainly please fans of historical crime novels.--Gaughan, Thomas Copyright 2010 Booklist


Publisher's Weekly Review

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) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved


Library Journal Review

"Judge Crater, call your office." For decades, that line delivered over a PA system insured laughs, because Judge Crater, along with Amelia Earhart and Jimmy Hoffa, is (or at least was) one of the immortals in the pantheon of missing persons. Today, he probably commands a footnote. Four months after being appointed to the New York Supreme Court, he got into a cab on August 6, 1930, and was never seen again. Was Crater done in by the mob? Eliminated by FDR in fear that charges of corruption might scuttle his presidential bid? Or did he flee into a Hooverville of Depression-era America? All were offered as possibilities. In his second appearance, private dick Fintan Dunne (Hour of the Cat) tries to piece together the story. The narrative is chockablock with police report transcripts, conversations with those still alive in the mid-1950s, and purported histories of the case. VERDICT With echoes of Raymond Chandler and Orson Welles, as well as enough period detail to outfit a vintage shop, this workmanlike effort will appeal to those interested in literary and noirish historical mysteries. But those who have never heard of Judge Crater will likely find it a cold case.-Bob Lunn, Kansas City, MO (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.