Thursday, September 30, 2010

Tenement Talks: The Man Who Never Returned

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Anybody who loves a good mystery is going to want to join us tonight at Tenement Talks when novelist Peter Quinn discusses his new book, The Man Who Never Returned, alongside journalist and author Kevin Baker.

When Joseph Force Crater, a powerful Justice on the Supreme Court, suddenly vanished after dinner in the summer of 1930, the country was shocked as his disappearance made headlines. A grand jury investigation of the case was launched amidst swirling rumors about Crater's whereabouts, but with not much to go on, no conclusions were ever reached. Urban legends flourished as Carter's disappearance from W. 45th Street grew to be one of the biggest mysteries in New York City history.

Peter Quinn's novel revisits this bizarre story through the eyes of fictional detective Fintan Dunne, who comes out of retirement in 1955 determined to unearth what happened nearly three decades earlier. Dunne, who was introduced in Quinn's earlier book Hour of the Cat, faces nearly insurmountable odds while chasing the truth, as he answers to a greedy newspaper bigwig hungry for a story and confronts the case's perplexing, troubled history.

Quinn, who once worked as a speechwriter for governors Hugh Carey and Mario Cuomo, seamlessly blends the city's history with the fictional schemes and theories of his hardheaded protagonist. Best-selling author James Patterson says Quinn "is perfecting, if not actually creating, a genre you could call the history-mystery. The Man Who Never Returned is a dazzling story."

And as those of you who have seen Quinn at previous Tenement Talks know, he is a consummate speaker, witty and interesting as they come. 

So join Kevin Baker, contributing editor of Harper's Magazine and contributing writer of The New York Times, on September 30 at 6:30 pm to discuss a story he believes "you may never want to leave." The conversation begins at 108 Orchard Street at Delancey, and you can RSVP here.

- Posted by Joe Klarl

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