The Fate of Katherine Carr
By Thomas H. Cook
(Mariner Books, Paperback, 9780547263342, 276pp.)
Publication Date: April 2010
List Price: $13.95*
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George Gates used to be a travel writer who specialized in places where people disappeared—Judge Crater, the Lost Colony.Then his eight-year-old son was murdered, the killer never found, and Gates gave up disappearance. Now he writes stories of redemptive triviality about flower festivals and local celebrities for the town paper, and spends his evenings haunted by the image of his son’s last day.
Enter Arlo MacBride, a retired missing-persons detective still obsessed with the unsolved case of Katherine Carr. When he gives Gates the story she left behind—a story of a man stalking a woman named Katherine Carr—Gates too is drawn inexorably into a search for the missing author’s brief life and uncertain fate. And as he goes deeper, he begins to suspect that her tale holds the key not only to her fate, but to his own.
- Throughout the book, George is grieving his son’s death. He has recovered his son’s body, so there’s no hope he’ll be found alive. But hope still remains a potent force in the book: the possibility of hope, the futility of hope, the necessity of hope, the denial of it — the hope for hope itself. On page 21, George says, “fantasy is grief’s nearest companion.” In this passage, George’s fantasy of finding his son’s killer is a hope for justice. Do you agree with his statement about fantasy? Is fantasy the same thing as hope?