Edgar® Award Winner for Best Novel and Winner of the PNBA Best Fiction Book of the Year
"As thrilling as it is unnerving . . . Could have been written by Dashiell Hammett or James Crumley--at their best."--Greil Marcus, Esquire
St. Paul, Minnesota, 1939. A grisly discovery is made. On a hillside, the dead body of a beautiful dime-a-dance girl is found, and an investigation opens. Assigned to the case is Police Lieutenant Wesley Horner, a man troubled and alone after his wife's recent death, a man with his own demons. He soon narrows his sights on Herbert White, an eccentric recluse and hobby photographer with a fondness for snapping suggestive photographs of the dime-a-dance girls. As Horner discovers, White is also a man with no memory, who must record his life in detailed journal entries and scrapbooks. For every interrogation Horner has, Herbert White has few answers, pushing the murder investigation into unknown territory and illuminating the complex relationship between truth and fiction, past and present, faith and memory.
"A pulsing tale of redemption and original goodness."--Pico Iyer, Time
"Strong, brooding . . . Clark's most striking achievement is Herbert's ambiguity, making it appear at once vulnerable and threatening."--Dan Cryer, Newsday
"A novel of substance . . . reveals the subtlety of [Robert Clark's] artistry and the profundity of his vision.”--Merle Rubin, The Wall Street Journal
"The long ruminations of Mr. White . . . give the book its intensity and mystery."--The New Yorker