Top positive review
5 people found this helpful
on 11 January 2010
I have read just about every book Thomas H Cook has written. His themes always contain a sense of Conradian darkness, but I feel that now he is beginning to home in on a central premise. A premise which focuses on the nature of murder as a singular force and the balance of judgement/revenge.
His last novel 'The Master of the Delta' brings in much mention of historical atrocities - the Spanish Inquisition, the gulag ships, and so on. Cook touches on this type of material again here - Countess Bathory, war crimes, various famous serial killers. (But not in any sensationalising way. As a crime writer he is one of the most philosophical and morally tenacious in searching through the murk and the sadism.)
This is a truly multilayered book - and one of the strangest I think he has ever written. A previous reviewer states that the reader needs to go back to the first chapter after reaching the end to find out what has happened to George. This is spot on. (References in the story to 'a further turning of the screw' are definately relevant here.) It's not the kind of twist I expected from Cook, but then again he has never dealt in conventional 'twists' anyway. A further reason why he is so original and interesting as a crime author.
'The Fate of Katherine Carr' is an uneasy, perplexing, horrifying and moving novel. I really hope it finds a big audience. It would also make a superb film.