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The Fate Of Katherine Carr Audio CD – Audiobook, Unabridged

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Starred Review. George Gates, who once toured the world as a travel writer, churns out fluff pieces for his local paper and spends his nights alone, imagining what he'd do to the person who murdered his eight-year-old son seven years before and is still at large in Cook's eerily poignant novel. When Arlo McBride, a retired missing persons detective, tells Gates about the unsolved disappearance of reclusive poet Katherine Carr 20 years earlier, Gates is intrigued. Cook (Master of the Delta) seamlessly intertwines the short story Carr left behind—about a woman also named Katherine Carr—with Gates's growing obsession with Carr's fate. When his editor suggests that Gates write a profile of Alice Barrows, an orphan girl dying of progeria (premature aging), he discovers that Alice is an avid detective fan, and together they form an unlikely partnership. Adept at merging past and present plot lines, Cook eloquently examines the often cathartic act of storytelling. Author tour. (June)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Booklist

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? (2008). --Connie Fletcher --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Audio CD
  • Publisher: Isis Audio Books; Unabridged edition (February 1, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1445001861
  • ISBN-13: 978-1445001869
  • Product Dimensions: 7 x 6.3 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #12,458,736 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

THOMAS H. COOK was born in Fort Payne, Alabama, in 1947. He has been nominated for the Edgar Award seven times in five different categories. He received the best novel Edgar for The Chatham School Affair, the Martin Beck Award, the Herodotus Prize for best historical short story, and the Barry for best novel for Red Leaves, and has been nominated for numerous other awards.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

25 of 26 people found the following review helpful By A. Koren VINE VOICE on June 7, 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Edgar award winner Thomas H. Cook delivers one of the finest tension filled mysteries out there. This is mystery writing at its most imaginative, provocative and captivating. If you don't have a lot of time to find an exceptional read then get your hands on this book. The story is chilling and haunting. There is a menacing dark sustained drive here that will keep you guessing and turning pages until the last one. . If you want to go on a roller coaster ride.....
One of the many qualities that makes this read unique is its simple texture. It is not just a fine mystery, it is a special piece of literature. The reader feels that each word is carefully chosen-written to compel, to push the book forward with more and more intensity and agitation. An exceptional offering.
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22 of 24 people found the following review helpful By M. Lightbody on June 13, 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Katherine Carr disappeared twenty years ago. She is the mystery that Arlo McBride, the retired homicide detective has never forgotten. She left behind poems and a story and little else.

George Gates, once a travel writer, has something he can't leave behind; the death of his eight year old son, killed by a predator, the mystery never solved. Alice Barrows is leaving everything behind. She is twelve years old and dying from progeria.

In this beautiful story of vengeance, redemption and hope the fates of Alice and George and Katherine are woven together, in Cook's always luminous prose. Cook writes in allusions and metaphors and pictures so that you see the story as he writes it, with an immediacy of description that keeps the reader turning the pages. I'm not sure why I devoured the book but it was some combination of gorgeous writing, great characters and solid plotting. Nothing is ever outlandish but Cook takes you further and further from the mundane and you find yourself hoping and believing for all the characters.

If you have never read Cook? Start with this one. This book is a rare treat.
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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on July 31, 2009
Format: Hardcover
George Gates is a former travel writer and investigator of historical mysteries who has retreated to safe, superficial newspaper writing after his young son was kidnaped and murdered. He then gets sucked into the mystery of what happened to a local writer (Katherine Carr) who walked out of her house one day in 1987 and vanished, leaving behind a mysterious story that seems to relate to her own life. He also becomes involved (both professionally and emotionally) with a 12-year-old girl dying of progeria (the "aging" disease), with whom he reads through the story, attempting to find clues to what happened to Katherine.

I think of this book as structured like a spiral, going from Gates' telling of his own story to a man he meets after the events of the book, to his investigation of Katherine's disappearance, to Katherine's story from 20 years before, and back. On the way it provides an interesting meditation on the effects of loss and crime (especially unsolved crime) on its victims; not only has Gates lost his son, but Katherine had become a virtual recluse before her disappearance due to a vicious beating she had suffered a few years before. The ending is rather ambiguous, though, and the whole book seems unfocused - possibly a necessary effect of its structure and content, but that may account for the lack of complete satisfaction on my part.

P.S. As with other books I've seen or read lately, the cover bugs the hell out of me. It appears to be a young (pre-adolescent) girl, though it's hard to tell since the close-up cuts off most of the face. The only character who fits that description is dying of premature aging and wheelchair-bound. Why is it considered so unacceptable in some circles to have a cover that bears some relation to the content of the book?
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By M & B Darby on August 20, 2009
Format: Hardcover
"The Fate of Katherine Carr" is not only an intriguing story about a woman who disappears, it is an erudite examination of evil in the world and the human need for moral justice. As always, Cook's characters are clearly drawn and fascinating. His extraordinary facility with language and his intriguing plots surpass that of most contemporary writers. This is good literature that stimulates the imagination and entertains. We have read many of Thomas Cook's novels and eagerly await his next publication.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By thomas andrew on December 8, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
What a joy it is to have the opportunity to read Thomas H. Cook. A truly great writer who doesn't seem to receive the recognition and accolades he deserves. To me there is no better recent mystery novel then "The Chatham School Affair." This new novel comes very close.
"The Fate of Katherine Carr" is a compelling novel that dares to be different in how the story unfolds. There are humorous references throughout the story to the mystery genre like the Nero Wolfe stories. Even a poke of fun at the traditional CLUE game and how most mysteries are written. The tale expands with insighful Cook metaphors like "...the memories of lost sons." There are homages to the master Edgar Poe and others throughout the mystery tale. Delicious and fun to read. The multilayer approach Cook deploys this time has a novel within a novel about a dead poet investigated by a travel writer trying to solve several abductions. How much fun is that for a book filled with a dark and terror-filled "main" mystery?
With this novel, Cook continues as the ultimate wordsmith and he continually delights the reader with his sentences that fall from the tongue like warmed honey. The ominous mood of abdusctions and serial killers fills the book with a haunting dread of intrigue.
I stopped all my other reading to finish this novel. The way Cook tells the multiple tales and weaves them into one conclusion is nothing short of masterful. Perhaps I was wrong, but I understood at the end of the book that the murderer of the protagonist Gates' son was indeed revealed. Just as Cook alludes to earlier - read the clues and discoveries and the killer will be exposed. Perhaps his metaphysical portrayal of those people/ghosts who can help expose the killers among us was a third tale within the novel. Absolutely fascinating.
If you like great writing and are a fan of mystery stories, I highly recommend this wonderful book. Thomas H. Cook: you are the best!
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