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Friday 27 November 2015

‘The City when it Rains’ by Thomas H Cook

Published by Overlook Duckworth,
September 2015.


David Corman, a freelance photographer who can’t sell his pictures any more, goes to the suicide death of a young woman. He has to have a story he can sell ... but what really caused this death?

This lyrically-told novel is part investigation, part exploration of the artist’s dilemma: integrity vs a living wage, and the extent of the sacrifice you’re prepared to make for pursuing what you want to do. The narrative follows Corman throughout: his relationship with his lively daughter, their run down appartment, the news office, and his excursions into the city and the dead woman’s life. New York in the rain is a brooding precence throughout, described through a photographer’s eyes: the sheen on the puddles, the dampened buildings, the discarded objects, like the doll by the dead woman’s hand. Past New York is also brought to like through the photographs Corman has studied: a worker high on scaffolding, the building of St Patrick’s Cathedral, the Triangle factory fire. The mystery is investigated and solved satisfactorily, but the book’s focus is on Corman’s life, and the decisions he has to make.

A hauntingly atmospheric novel centred round a heart-tugging death.
Reviewer: Marsali Taylor
Thomas H Cook  is the author of eighteen books, including two works of true crime. His novels have been nominated for the Edgar Allan Poe Award, the Macavity Award and the Dashiell Hammett Prize. The Chatham School Affair won the Edgar Allan Poe Award for Best Novel in 1996. His true crime book, Blood Echoes, was nominated for the Edgar Allan Poe Award in 1992, and his story "Fatherhood" won the Herodotus Prize in 1998 and was included in Best Mystery Stories of 1998. His works have been translated into fifteen languages.

 Marsali Taylor grew up near Edinburgh, and came to Shetland as a newly-qualified teacher. She is currently a part-time teacher on Shetland's scenic west side, living with her husband and two Shetland ponies. Marsali is a qualified STGA tourist-guide who is fascinated by history, and has published plays in Shetland's distinctive dialect, as well as a history of women's suffrage in Shetland. She's also a keen sailor who enjoys exploring in her own 8m yacht, and an

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