Four Corners of Night by Craig Holden

Author: Craig Holden 

The Blurb: Its 9.00 on a Sunday morning in a city deep in America’s midwest. Bank Arbaugh and Mack Steiner have just come off the night shift. Sitting in a cafe waiting for breakfast, they get a call over the radio – a teenage girl is missing.With a glance, the 2 cops – friends since childhood and close as brothers – know that their lives have shifted off balance. Seven years before, Bank’s own daughter disappeared and has never been found.

four corners of night

Ok, so the blurb looks promising…. too promising perhaps because I was personally disappointed with this book. Why didn’t I enjoy it despite being a huge crime fiction aficionado ?

First, I was expecting some sort of great crime solving, detective work with startling clues that move across time. When the “mystery” was finally solved, it was deflating. The book is more about how the 2 characters cope with their personal and professional lives and how their inherent personality traits affect or help them in their jobs.

Since it deals with the kidnapping of 2 teenage girls, it predictably deals with issues of child abuse. Now, I’m not pointing that out as a negative per se. But my problem was with the fact that the entire gamut of issues concerning child abuse is dealt with in the form of a monologue from one character to another. That, to me, seems implausible.

The chapters alternate between the two cases and the occasional chapter deals with the childhood friendship of Mack and Bank. The problem here is that the descriptions of the crime scenes, the town, the scenery, etc. get so heavy that it gets confusing. At one point, I had to go back to the previous chapter just to check whether it was the past or the present.

Bottomline: I wouldn’t recommend it to anyone.