Thomas H Cook is not as well known as he should be. His dark centred mystery books are beautifully written, insistent and memorable.
The Last Talk with Lola Faye is based around a conversation between the narrator and Lola Faye, who was a central figure in the violent events of years ago that changed lives.
As the talk progresses, memories return, each one casting light on those events and on the character of the protagonist. And as the memories expand everything seems less obvious, more threatening, as Lola, with her apparently naive questions gradually brings out the truth.
The reader, however, never knows just what is going to happen and who is going to be revealed as guilty and why, until right at the end, when expectations are quite overturned.
Thomas H Cook doesn't go in for action-packed, thrill-a-page, "unputdownable" formulaic novels. His books are thoughtful and powerful and stick in the mind. Many of his best books are concerned with raising ghosts, with the truth of what has happened in the past and has been supressed gradually reasserting itself. Buried secrets are revealed, and with them the damage to present lives because of past crimes is illuminated and explained..