It was not a clever killing. On May 5, 1973, three men escaped from a Maryland prison and disappeared. Joined by a 15-year-old brother, they surfaced in Georgia, where they were spotted joyriding in a stolen car. Within a week, the four young men were arrested on suspicion of committing one of the most horrific murders in American history. Jerry Alday and his family were eating Sunday dinner when death burst through the door of their cozy little trailer. Their six bodies are only the beginning of Thomas H. Cook's retelling of this gruesome story.
The first case is simple. A wealthy man’s wife has grown distant, and he asks Frank Clemons, a private eye hardened by his past work on Atlanta’s homicide beat, to find out why. There are a number of simple reasons why a young woman might withdraw from her older husband, but the spurned spouse rejects them all. Her jewelry is disappearing, but he insists that she doesn’t have trouble with blackmail, drugs, or gambling. The answer must be more complex, and he begs Frank to find out what it is.
The sleek high-rises of Park Avenue make Frank Clemons uneasy. The former Atlanta homicide detective came to New York after a sickening murder case soured him on the South, but despite the glitz and excitement of his new surroundings and the beauty of the woman he shares them with, the city makes his skin crawl. Now a private eye, he is only at ease in the city's darker corners, among the whores, gamblers, and pimps who call Eighth Avenue home. That affinity for the socially isolated is what draws him to the case of Hannah Karlsberg, an elderly seamstress who deserved a better death than she got.
Blood seeps into the gutters at the Children's Zoo in Central Park. Two deer have been slaughtered, one stabbed fifty-seven times and the other slashed across the neck. Normally it would be a case for the Parks Department, but these are no ordinary deer. The pride of the small menagerie, they were given to the zoo by a prominent socialite who cannot afford bloody headlines. The NYPD hands the case to Detective Reardon, star of the homicide squad. A recent widower at fifty-six, Reardon has seen too many human victims to care much about the two butchered animals.
The young girl lies in a ditch without a scratch on her - a white high school student stretched out dead in the black part of Atlanta. She was a rich girl from a cold family, too genteel for the neighborhood where she died, and only the baby in her belly suggests how she might have gotten there. For Detective Frank Clemons, the scene is far too familiar. Too close to how it was when he found his own daughter, dead in the woods by her own hand, her youthful beauty cruelly ravaged by depression. To hang on to sanity, he must do everything he can to find justice for the dead.
The grave on the football field is shallow, and easy to spot from a distance. It would have been found sooner, had most of the residents in the black half of Birmingham not been downtown, marching, singing, and being arrested alongside Martin Luther King, Jr. Police detective Ben Wellman is among them when he gets the call about the fresh grave. Under the loosely packed dirt, he finds a young black girl, her innocence taken and her life along with it. His sergeant orders Wellman to investigate, but instructs him not to try too hard.
Steve Farris is an unexceptional middle-aged architect with an extraordinary past: When he was 9, his father came home one evening and coolly murdered his mother, brother, and sister before vanishing off the face of the earth. Steve has coped mainly by blotting out the terrible memories, but when writer Rebecca Soltero arrives to interview him about his father, he is forced to reawaken the horrors of his childhood.
On a rainy night in New York City’s Hell’s Kitchen, a woman throws a doll from the fifth-floor window of a gutted tenement, then leaps herself. From his own apartment a few blocks away, freelance photographer David Corman listens to the radio reports as they come over his headset. Corman is a man at the edge, threatened with eviction, besieged by his wife’s attempt to regain custody of their daughter, yet reluctant to give up the life that permits him to roam the night. In the woman’s dying fall, he sees the chance to sell a story....
Angelica, dix-huit ans, était la plus jolie fille d'Atlanta. Maintenant, elle gît dans un terrain vague et Frank Clemons, inspecteur alcoolique et divorcé, pense en voyant son corps à celui de sa propre fille, suicidée trois ans plus tôt. Cette enquête sera sa rédemption. Mais très vite, les questions surgissent : de quoi Angelica est-elle morte ? De qui était-elle enceinte ? Que cherchait-elle dans les galeries d'art un peu louches de la ville ? Et pour Frank, le mystère Angelica devient une obsession...
"Qu'allait faire Kelli sur le mont Crève-Cœur ce jour-là ? Qu'allait-elle chercher, seule dans la profondeur de ces bois ?" Trente ans après le drame, Ben demeure obsédé par l'image du corps de Kelli tel qu'il a été découvert sur la hauteur de ce mont où, jadis, l'on organisait une course de Noirs avant les enchères du marché aux esclaves.
New York 1939 : Thomas Danforth, jeune héritier à la Gatsby, voit son destin basculer lorsqu'il rencontre Anna Klein, espionne polyglotte. Pour elle, il rejoindra le "projet" des services secrets américains : assassiner Hitler. Après leur échec, Anna est arrêtée et l'on perd sa trace. Obstinément, Danforth la recherche à travers l'Europe dévastée. Sans cesser de se demander : qui a-t-elle trahi ?
Steve Farris is an unexceptional middle-aged architect with an extraordinary past: When he was nine, his father came home one evening and murdered his mother, brother, and sister before vanishing off the face of the Earth. Steve has coped by shutting out the terrible memories, but when writer Rebecca Soltero arrives to interview him about his father, he is forced to reawaken the horrors of his childhood.
Août 1926. Chatham, Nouvelle-Angleterre : son église, son port de pêche et son école de garçons fondée par Arthur Griswald qui la dirige avec probité. L'arrivée à Chatham School de la belle Mlle Channing, prof d'arts plastiques, paraît anodine en soi, mais un an plus tard, dans cette petite ville paisible, il y aura eu plusieurs morts. Henry, le fils adolescent de Griswald, est vite fasciné par celle qui l'encourage à "vivre ses passions jusqu'au bout". L'idéal de vie droite et conventionnelle que prône son père lui semble désormais un carcan.
Lorsque Lola Faye surgit devant Luke pour lui faire signer un de ses livres, il panique. Que lui veut cette femme, responsable à ses yeux du drame de sa jeunesse ? Luke allait partir pour l'université quand le mari jaloux de Lola a abattu son père. Ce meurtre a précipité la mort de sa mère dépressive et ruiné ses propres ambitions. Sa conversation avec Lola va éclairer le passé d'un jour nouveau.
How did Sandrine die? There was no forced entry. She had been gradually stockpiling prescription drugs. A lethal quantity of Demerol was found in her blood. But did the beautiful, luminous Sandrine Madison really take her own life? The District Attorny doesn't think so. Neither does the local newspaper. And so Sandrine's husband must now face a town convinced of his guilt and a daughter whose faith in her father has been shaken to its core.
Over his acclaimed career, Cook’s novels have haunted, riveted, and spellbound audiences across the world, and his short stories are equally acclaimed. They range from the intensely focused world of "Fatherhood", the Herodotus prize-winning title story, to the Edgar nominated "Rain", a dark, kaleidoscopic tale of Manhattan on a single, rain-swept night. "The Fix", the story of a famous boxing fix that was, well, not a fix at all, was selected for inclusion in Best Mystery Stories of the Year. "What She Offered", the gripping tale of a one-night stand, was included in The Best Noir Stories of the Century.
Thomas Danforth has lived a fortunate life. The son of a wealthy importer, he traveled the world in his youth, and now, in his twenties, he lives in New York City and runs the family business. It is 1939, and the world is on the brink of war, but Danforth's life is untroubled, his future assured. Then, on a snowy evening walk along Gramercy Park, a friend poses a fateful question. As it turns out, this friend has a dangerous idea that can change the world.
George Gates is a former travel writer. He used to specialise in writing about places where people disappeared, sometimes individuals, sometimes whole societies. Now, since the murder of his eight-year-old son, Gates writes for the town paper about flower festivals and local celebrities. Enter Arlo McBride, a retired missing-persons detective. Knowing Gates' past, he mentions the case of Katherine Carr, a woman who vanished 20 years before....