This book was truly a revelation to me. I've never read - or even particularly heard - of Cook before, and am a little surprised after reading the book. He seems to be an unsung hero of the crime genre (rather like The Fall in the world of music) critically lauded but not that popularly known. After reading this, though, you can know the crime genre is in safe hands. Yes, there is a lot of complete rubbish in the genre (and in any sphere of writing) but crime fiction, when it is written the best it can be, is as much literature as anything that might cart off the Booker. And this is it written as best it can be; this is literature - the case is proven. Red Leaves is a beautifully written, poigniant, powerful, moving book. America loves book in which their American dream comes crumbling down around the heads of noble, hard-working men (Mystic River), and this is one of those (it was shortlisted for the Edgar and the new Duncan lawrie Dagger; appallingly, it won neither and probably deserved both). An elegiac examination of a disappearance, a disintegrating family life, of dangerous, corrosive suspicion among families. It's written with an intensity and gloomy beauty that are rare, but that sets it out as among the best of fiction. The end is shocking, wrenching, and emotionally shattering. This book leaves you the way few books are able to. I'll be reading Thomas H. Cook again.