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The Man Who Never Returned (Fintan Dunne #2)

3.38  ·  Rating Details  ·  142 Ratings  ·  27 Reviews
Fifteen years later, Fintan Dunne the detective encountered in Quinn1s novel Hour of the Cat, recently retired and bored, answers a summons to New York where he is asked to solve the old case for a newspaper magnate only interested in making a profit from the story.

Peter Quinn once again has written a compelling blend of history and fiction that is simply unputdownable.
Hardcover, 336 pages
Published August 5th 2010 by The Overlook Press
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Nov 24, 2014 Tony rated it really liked it
THE MAN WHO NEVER RETURNED. (2010). Peter Quinn. ****.
This is the second novel from Quinn that features ex-cop detective Fintane Dunne. We met him first in a previous novel, “Hour of the Cat.” Dunne has just taken on a job that is a little outside of his specialty of divorce – finding out what happened to Judge Crater. Judge Crater was a judge in New York, and a member of the state Supreme Court. He had been out to dinner with a group of his cronies and left early by cab. He was never seen again
Dennis Fischman
Feb 01, 2014 Dennis Fischman rated it liked it
Shelves: fiction, mystery
I read this stylized, nourish detective story about a retired investigator in 1950's Florida who gets hired to go back to New York and dig into the 1930's disappearance of Judge Crater for discussion with the Somerville Public Library Mystery Book Club. I probably would not have picked it on my own, but I'm glad I read it. Crater's missing person case was famous in those days, even though I knew a lot more about Amelia Earhart's disappearance before reading this book. Apparently, there were rumo ...more
Steven Ferre
Feb 09, 2014 Steven Ferre rated it really liked it
This is a well-written book with an interesting take on the unsolved Judge Crater disappearance. Prior to this book, I'd never heard of Judge Crater, but his mysterious disappearance captivated much of America for a generation.

The characters are tough-boiled as they should be and the recreation of 1950's New York was interesting. A nice touch was featuring the long-gone Savoy Plaza hotel...a grand hotel that for some reason doesn't get much press. Every time I pass that awful GM building that to
Dec 11, 2012 Cateline rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The four star rating I've given The Man Who Never Returned is actually an average of first and last halves of the book. The beginning was slow, and frankly a bit torturous, but finally, finally!, the second half took off like a rocket.

Judge Joe Crater's (unsolved to this day) case is one of the most famous missing person case, at least in New York, and probably the country. It ranks up there with Amelia Earhart's, which was only a few years later than the Judges.

Quinn gives us a "retired" dete
Apr 22, 2011 Bob rated it really liked it
As a boomer, I think my introduction to the mystery of the disappearance of Judge Joe Crater came during, of all things, "Laugh In." As a Chicago guy, I'd never heard of the NY state justice who vanished in 1930.
Was it posterboard signs that read lines like "Judge Crater, call home" where I'd first learned of this well-known missing person case?
Whatever, "The Man Who Never Returned" is a good mystery that like all good mysteries keeps you turning pages wondering what happened to Crater.
Author Pe
Nov 12, 2010 Edward rated it it was ok
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jun 08, 2014 Mary rated it did not like it
This book was very confusing and had no true direction. I read to page 180/300 and had to cut my losses. I had no interest or investment in the characters and was just suffering through it. I usually don't give up on a book, but figured there are way too many others I would rather spend my time on. I do not recommend this book. Even if the last 120 pages were outstanding, I'm mad at myself for wasting so much time.
Feb 25, 2015 Heather rated it liked it
Judge Joseph Force Crater disappeared forever in real life in August 1930. This is a fictionalized account of what may have happened to him as told by a PI who is investigating the case 20 years later. A good read.
May 17, 2012 Laura rated it liked it
This book was a slow to get going but it was worth the mystery that has been presented. There are different sub stories in the book that you wonder, "what if such and such happened" The roles are clearly defined. I am not close to being half way through so the plot will only thicken in trying to find what mystery envelopes this tale of disappearance.

I finished this book and it proved to answer a small mystery rather than the big one of the missing Judge. This is a true story of a judge who went
Dec 30, 2013 Emma rated it it was ok
Very period accurate. However, the first part of the book was filled with unecessary fluff, to leave the real plot and action to be quickly unfolded and the end. Definately not a thriller, all the action feels toned down and very slow.The mystery solving, is constantly interrupted by the pointless and boring mundane personal tasks of the main character. Bad character developement, and the final explaination behind the mystery was kind of a let down. On the other hand, the tidbits of accurte hist ...more
Jan 31, 2016 Irwin rated it really liked it
Started slowly, but picked up steam, and ultimately became a page turner. A few good twists along the way.
Jun 17, 2015 Gram rated it liked it
A decent mystery, although not as good as the 1st Fintan Dunne tale, "The Hour Of The Cat". I felt this book was too drawn out and could have benefited from being 50 pages or so shorter.
Boris Feldman
Feb 25, 2014 Boris Feldman rated it really liked it
The second of Quinn's Fintan Dunne series. A superb mystery about the disappearance of Judge Joseph Crater. Quinn's prose is perfect NY noir.
Jan 06, 2012 Dave rated it it was ok
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Dec 27, 2011 Claire rated it it was ok
I just cannot deal with a mystery novel that takes 150 pages to get to the actual investigating. I can understand wanting to make the detective a fully-realized character, but an author can do that while he solves a case (just look at Dorothy Sayers) instead of spending the first half of the book glazing over trips to NYC/LA/Cuba and way too much detail about the character's sex life. The actual mystery was very engaging, but the solution didn't hold up to scrutiny and relied too much on very co ...more
Mar 15, 2015 Mike rated it really liked it
Smart writing and interesting views into a different era characterize the two Peter Quinn books I have read (Hour of the Cat is the other one). I want more from this author. Just ordered another novel by him.
Sep 02, 2010 Amanda rated it it was ok
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Sep 13, 2010 Jean rated it really liked it
This is a fictional account of the real life disappearance of Judge Joseph Forte Crater from the streets of NYC in 1930. Twenty-five years later, Fintan Dunne is hired to solve this cold case. Quinn does an excellent job describing the politics of the time period and describing New York as it underwent so much change. The actual mystery has never been solved, but Quinn comes up with a plausible story. Interesting and entertaining.
Jan 03, 2014 K rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Many typos, repeated page section detracted from perfect read. Overlook is a better press than that, I thought. Should have read hour of the cat first, I suppose. Overall, an intriguing periods detective style and topic. Like the protagonist. Not being a New Yorker I have somehow overlooked other bks on this historical character.
Carolyn Rose
Feb 15, 2011 Carolyn Rose rated it really liked it
LIke Quinn's previous book, Hour of the Cat, this has a wonderful time and place. I was able to suspend disbelief and feel that I was back in 1955 investigating the disappearance of Judge Crater with detective Fintan Dunne.
Kaye Campbell
Sep 25, 2010 Kaye Campbell rated it liked it
Shelves: mystery
Noire History-Mystery. Setting in New York in the 50's interesting, as was the true story of a missing judge, which the author used as a basis of mystery story. Good, if you like that type of book.
Jack Laschenski
Nov 23, 2013 Jack Laschenski rated it liked it
New York City stars.

Finstan Dunne detective.

Judge Crater disappears in 1930.


25 years later we will find out!!
Judy Hilvers
Aug 20, 2010 Judy Hilvers rated it really liked it
This was a good read -- a fictional view of an historical event that provides answers to a decades-long mystery. Well done.
Apr 17, 2011 Deb rated it really liked it
Entertaining take on one of history's unsolved disappearances -Judge Crater, 1930, totally okay to have no idea who he was.
Mar 18, 2011 Leigh rated it it was ok
Never finished.. Never returned.. Got lost in the details of the era.....
Jul 18, 2012 Vicky added it
Shelves: gave-up
I think I bought the wrong book. I thought this was about something else...
Luanne Rice
Aug 16, 2010 Luanne Rice rated it it was amazing
i loved this book, couldn't put it down. completely engrossing.
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Peter Quinn is the author of the novel Banished Children of Eve (winner of an American Book Award) and previously served as speechwriter for New York governors Hugh Carey and Mario Cuomo. A third-generation New Yorker whose granparents were born in Ireland, he is currently Editorial Director for Time Warner and lives in Hastings, New York.
More about Peter Quinn...

Other Books in the Series

Fintan Dunne (3 books)
  • The Hour of the Cat
  • Dry Bones

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