Saturday, August 16, 2008

Reading a Forgotten Book: Four Corners of the Night by Craig Holden

This book was recommended by Craig McDonald on "Forgotten Books" a few weeks back and I was drawn to it because I had recently read Holden's story in Detroit Noir and because it is set in Toledo, although the exact locale is never mentioned in the story itself.

Four Corners in the Night
is what I would deem a completely satisfying crime novel. The setting is exquisitely drawn, the crimes are blisteringly real, the central characters are given enough depth to make them interesting and sympathetic beyond the confines of the crimes, the details about police work and life are completely convincing. And the plot--well, the plot is just outstanding.

Holden uses a lot of back story in his novel and tells it in huge swaths, but I never felt it held the story back because it was equally interesting to the action set in the present. It's the story of two cops, childhood friends, who are drawn into several disappearances of teenage girls. The past and present circle each other and many of my early guesses about what had happened were stood on their ear when the full story is finally told.
This is a tense, exciting read. Highly recommended.


Juri said...

Just two weeks ago I picked this up from a thrift store, not knowing what it is about and only vaguely trying to remember whether I'd ever heard of Craig Holden. I went only with the fact that James Crumley blurbed it and I thought he probably doesn't do a lot of blurbing, unless he really means it. Good to know my money (= 20 European cents!) didn't go to waste.

pattinase (abbott) said...

Hope you enjoy it. My favorite crime stories are hard-boiled police procedurals with some family life angst like this one.

Kent Morgan said...

I also enjoyed Holden's book. Patti, have you tried Donald Harstad whose books feature Iowa deputy sheriff Carl Houseman? I felt he was writing the best US police procedurals, but he's disappeared from the bookstores. Perhaps someone else who lost his publisher. He should have been on my list of authors whose books I buy in hardcover and read immediately.

Not like Stephen E. Miller's The Woman in the Yard, which I bought in HC back in 1999 and finally pulled off the shelf this week. It's set in Wilmington NC in 1954 and the main character is Korean veteran Q.P. Waldeau, who is an acting sheriff dealing with the prejudices of the time as he tries to solve the murders of both black and white women. If the last half lives up to the 142 pages I've read, this might be another book you would enjoy.

pattinase (abbott) said...

Damn, never heard of Harstead. Is there no end of books I need to read?
Don't you love it when a book you bought a decade ago finally gets read. I have ones from 25 years ago gathering dust.

eo said...

In my opinion, this book has never received the attention it deserved. One of my faves.