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Booklist: "In eloquently precise prose, Taylor evokes the life of small-time thief Mark Chamberlain. The night he invades the home of the parents of Caroline May is the night his carefully regimented schedule begins to unravel.

Date: Mar 15 2006

New Zealand author Taylor (Shirker, 2000) is a stylish writer of noir novels who has been compared to Ross Macdonald. But his seductive command of the language and his elegiac tone more closely recall Thomas McGuane. In eloquently precise prose, Taylor evokes the life of small-time thief Mark Chamberlain. The night he invades the home of the parents of Caroline May is the night his carefully regimented schedule begins to unravel. He is deeply shaken upon seeing the room that has been kept as a shrine to the girl who went missing decades ago at the age of 14. In successive, elliptical flashbacks, his relationships with Caroline and with her best friend, Varina, are revealed, as is his obsession with finding out what happened. It is rumored that she was on a plane that crashed in Antarctica but, in the final analysis, it is impossible to know what really happened, prompting feelings of longing and ennui in those who have been left behind. Vivid characters and mesmerizing language contribute to the moody atmosphere.

by Joanne Wilkinson.