The Man in the Crooked Hat

The Man in the Crooked Hat

Book - 2017
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There's a killer, and he wears a crooked hat. Private investigator Jack Pellum has spent two years searching for the man who he believes murdered his wife--a man he last saw wearing a peacoat and a fedora. Months of posting fliers and combing through crime records yield no leads. Then a local writer commits suicide, and he leaves a bewildering message that may be the first breadcrumb in a winding trail of unsolved murders... Michael Underhill is a philosophical man preoccupied by what-ifs and could-have-beens, but his life is finally coming together. He has a sweet and beautiful girlfriend, and together they're building their future home. Nothing will go wrong, not if Underhill has anything to say about it. The problem is, Underhill has a dark and secret past, and it's coming back to haunt him. These two men are inexorably drawn together in a mystery where there is far more than meets the eye, and nothing can be taken for granted.
Publisher: New York :, G.P. Putnam's Sons,, [2017]
ISBN: 9780399157974
Branch Call Number: MYSTERY DOL
Characteristics: 354 pages ; 24 cm

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KlayDyer
Mar 19, 2018

A most truthful statement, this cover blurb from The Washington Post: "Dolan has a talent for ingenious, serpentine plots." I would add to that such descriptors as cerebral, subtly and painstakingly patterned, and engagingly complex. But whatever words you might want to use to describe thriller, you will be describing a deeply entertaining novel in which narrative threads intertwine, overlap, and unravel at varying paces throughout the chapters.
Another way to approach this novel is to see it not as one murder mystery, but a number of murders that are connected (or not), have common themes (or not), but all of which have damaged lives and sent echoes through generations of families. Each murder demands a solution, and each is, eventually, solved in whole or in part by Dolan's protagonist, the obsessively methodical Jack Pellum.
At its core, this is a novel of revenge, redemption, and recovery of life in the wake of personal tragedy. But it is also a great puzzle, with pieces twisting and turning without ever slipping toward the predictable or the frustrating. Dolan's deft touch is a joy to behold.

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