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New book: characters obsessed with serial killers

By Jessica Schneider Jun 20, 2009, 14:47 GMT

New book: characters obsessed with serial killers

George Gates used to be a travel writer who specialized in places where people disappeared—Judge Crater, the Lost Colony.Then his eight-year-old son was murdered, the killer never found, and Gates gave up disappearance. Now he writes stories of redemptive triviality about flower festivals and local celebrities for the town paper, and spends his evenings haunted by the image of his son’s last day. Enter Arlo MacBride, a retired missing-persons detective ...more

“The Fate of Katherine Carr” is the newest title by Thomas H. Cook. According to a recent AP review: “The main characters in this fine new novel are obsessed with serial killers, from a 16th-century fiend named Countess Bathory to more recent psychopaths such as Ed Gein.”

Cook is the author of 21 novels, and the reviewer also notes: “At each level, the novel ponders questions of good and evil, of guilt and retribution, and the power of storytelling itself. And at each level, Cook keeps the reader guessing about what is myth and what is real, filling the reader with foreboding right up to the chilling conclusion.”

The creepy subject matter just very well may be what some are looking for.

Booklist states:

“Cook, the author of 21 novels, has been nominated for the Edgar seven times and won once (for The Chatham School Affair, 1996). His latest is as much an investigation into character as it is a cold-case mystery.

Hero George Gates has been completely broken by the kidnapping and murder of his eight-year-old son seven years ago. Gates is a former travel writer, much given to writing about places where people disappeared. Now he salves his psyche by writing totally innocuous small features for the local paper.

A chance meeting at a bar with the detective who organized the search parties when Gates’ son went missing leads Gates into a new interest, a cold case that has obsessed the detective for two decades.

Retired missing-persons detective Arlo McBride shows Gates the poems and journal that the 31-year-old missing woman left behind, and both men are pulled into reopening the case. The action tends to crawl, but the characters are rich and fascinating. Give this one to fans of Kate Atkinson’s acclaimed When Will There Be Good News?”

Read the full AP review here. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 288 pages.



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