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The Man Who Never Returned

The celebrated second installment in the Fintan Dunne trilogy.

The Man Who Never Returned cover

Publisher: The Overlook Press
ISBN-10: 1590203880
ISBN-13: 978-1-59020-388-0
First publication date: August 6, 2010
Language(s): English
Cover: Hardback and Paperback
Purchase Online: Overlook Press, Amazon


Praise for The Man Who Never Returned...

"In The Man Who Never Returned, Peter Quinn shapes a tantalizing tale around the enduring mystery of Judge Joseph Force Crater, whose disappearance remains a major mystery. Quinn knows New York and its politics better than anyone. The talk and the story are as sharp and hard-edged as they city they embody. This is noir fiction at its finest."

- William Kennedy

"Peter Quinn just might make it into the history books himself. He is perfecting, if not actually creating, a genre you could call the history-mystery. The Man Who Never Returned is a dazzling story by a fine writer. Fintan Dunne is a memorably hero who you want to meet again & again."

- James Patterson

"This is the rarest of books, one that hooks you on the first page and doesn't unhook you on the last page ­ you wind up going over the whole story in your head for days, trying to figure out where history stops and fiction begins. Absolutely beguiling."

- Robert Littell

"A masterful and evocative tale, set in a beautifully rendered 1950's New York, that combines true crime with vivid imagining. This is that rare book: A first-rate thriller that seamlessly weaves together page-turning narrative with richly detailed characters whose motivations-- complex, suspect, hidden-- always ring true."

- Thomas Kelly

"Peter Quinn writes about the old New York the way that Allen Furst writes about Paris.  The Man Who Never Returned is not only a gripping take on one of the city's most enduring mysteries, but also a world in and of itself.  You may never want to leave."

- Kevin Baker

"The Man Who Never Returned is an utterly compelling story with a charismatic flawed protagonist in Fintan Dunne.  Gripping from the first page to the last, Peter Quinn creates a unique and utterly believable world, part history, part fiction.  He is an enviably wonderful writer."

- Gabriel Byrne

"Peter Quinn brings wit, panache and a deep knowledge of the Big Apple to his latest Fintan Dunne novel. The Man Who Never Returned is a taut thriller but also a meditation on life in the big city, where a well-connected municipal judge can disappear overnight and leave behind a mystery that transforms lives, confounds investigators, and – fortunately for lovers of detective fiction – provides Quinn with a fascinating plotline that fully utilizes his skills as a storyteller."

- T.J. English

"Freely mixing history, mystery, and novelistic license, Quinn offers a noir-ish tale of Tammany Hall politics, sex, crime, Broadway moguls, and cops, populated by more than a dozen interesting characters. Quinn's rich, insightful, evocative descriptions of New York, both in Crater's time and in 1955, will certainly please fans of historical crime novels."

- Booklist

"A novel that suggests a fictional resolution to a historical mystery. The disappearance of New York's Judge Joe Crater in 1930 sparked speculation for decades that has never completely dissipated.  Quinn plainly knows the lay of the land through experience and research. This hybrid of mystery and history builds a compelling case."

- Kirkus Reviews


About This Book

On the sultry evening of August 6, 1930, in the first summer of the Great Depression, Joseph Force Crater, recently appointed a justice of the New York State Supreme Court by Governor Franklin Roosevelt, bid two dinner companions good night and hailed a cab. Off he went into history, myth, and urban legend. Judge Crater's disappearance remains the most enduring, fascinating, unsolved mystery in the chronicles of Gotham.

In The Man Who Never Returned, Peter Quinn brings back Fintan Dunne, the relentless, skeptical ex-cop/detective from Hour of the Cat, and puts him on the Crater case. The year is 1955, the silver anniversary of the Judge's vanishing and a last golden moment for solving the puzzle before the people and clues follow Crater into the fast-receding past. In a search full of unexpected twists, Dunne uncovers the shocking and menacing truth.