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The Man in the Crooked Hat

3.92  ·  Rating details ·  908 ratings  ·  170 reviews
"A new master mystery writer emerges."--Forbes Magazine

One cryptic clue leads a desperate man into a labyrinthine puzzle of murder in the electrifying new novel from national bestselling author Harry Dolan.

There's a killer, and he wears a crooked hat.

Private investigator Jack Pellum has spent two years searching for the man who he believes murdered his wife--a man he last
Hardcover, 355 pages
Published November 28th 2017 by G.P. Putnam's Sons
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Average rating 3.92  · 
Rating details
 ·  908 ratings  ·  170 reviews

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Oct 14, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: publisher, reviewed
I don't like serial killer books where the excuse for the murders is that the serial killer is "crazy", so I was relieved to find that this isn't one of those stories. Set in Detroit, Jack Pellum is an ex-cop whose wife Olivia was murdered. The reader, but not Pellum, knows from the first chapter that Olivia's murderer was Michael Underhill. The story is a search for the reason behind that murder. Pellum is now spending most of his time putting up flyers searching for a man in a crooked hat who ...more
Allie Bock
Mar 21, 2018 rated it it was ok
The Man with the Crooked Hat sounded like an excellent read. It’s about a detective trying to solve his wife’s murder. He thinks it was done by a serial killer. The story follows him as he unravels the clues to confront the murderer. It is a psychological thriller, which is not my usual genre. In all reality, I was left disappointed at the ending.

The writing was hard to get into. The author tended to write in short choppy sentences, and it felt disjointed to me.  I had a hard time getting into t
Dec 22, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Fast-paced, intricate plotting, interesting characters, many twists and turns. For me, the only detractions were a few too many serendipitous occurrences and twists near the end.
Jan 22, 2018 rated it liked it
this was only ok for me at times, and other times I was hooked.
I didn't feel a connection with the protagonist.
David Putnam
Aug 08, 2019 rated it really liked it
Harry Dolan is one on my favorites. This one is not as strong as the other books even so I liked it a great deal and recommend it. I don't know why Dolan isn't more well known.
Luanne Ollivier
Dec 19, 2017 rated it it was amazing
The Man in the Crooked Hat is the latest book from Harry Dolan. This was a first read of this author for me, but it will certainly not be the last! Dolan's writing is clever, his plotting serpentine and his characters intriguing, making for an addictive read.

Jack Pellum is a former police detective. When his wife is murdered, Jack goes off the rails. The case remains unsolved after two years, but there is a clue that Jack is sure will lead him to the killer. The man wears a crooked hat. A recent
Mar 22, 2018 rated it really liked it
Quite a strange, quirky book. This is the first book I have read by this author. My rating was a three, but in the end I raised it to a four, simply because it kept my interest. You know from page one who the murderer is, but you don't find out the why's until late in the book.
I may try another book from this author in the future.
Jessica Woodbury
Nov 03, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: crime-mystery
Dolan's last book really knocked it out of the park so I had high expectations for this one, but I found this one to be just your average competent mystery. Relies too heavily on the tropes I like to see subverted (man obsessed with wife's death, man whose every hunch is always correct, etc.) and the plot itself didn't do anything particularly novel.
Meandering tale that takes it's time in the telling. Slowly the clues add up as the story moves along. A big cast of characters/bodies along the way. No who done it here. We know from the beginning "who", we just have to wait to see how and why as the mystery unfolds. Interesting read.
Nov 30, 2017 rated it it was amazing
The Man In The Crooked Hat
Harry Dolan

What it's all about...

Jack Pellum is a tortured man. His wife has been murdered. He has one goal. That goal is to find the man in the crooked hat...that’s the man who murdered his wife. Matters are complicated because Jack is a former policeman. Jack’s father is a powerful judge with good intentions for his son. He interferes with Jack’s mission. Jack posts flyers, investigates, talks to get what he wants...finding the man with the crooked hat.
Dec 13, 2017 rated it liked it
I've read books before by Harry Dolan and enjoyed them - he is a very talented, assured writer. The Man in the Crooked Hat was another well-written addition to his repertoire. An added bonus: the story should appeal to readers who are not strictly mystery fans, as there was more depth and heft to the story than say, a typical thriller or action-based mystery. Another reviewer included that the book was more 'literary' and I'd agree with that.

The only reason I gave the book 3 instead of 4 stars
Sep 17, 2018 rated it really liked it
Jack Pellum, a former police officer and currently doing private investigative work, has a personal stake in his latest case. His wife was murdered when she was out doing her job, taking photos. When Jack looks into the case, he realizes that the killer is probably connected to a prior murder which took place 20 years before. The most noticeable thing about this killer is that he often wears a either a ball cap or a fedora, which is crooked. As Jack keeps going over law enforcement files, he fin ...more
Midwest Geek
Nov 28, 2017 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: mystery/suspense fans.
Shelves: mystery, thriller
Although most users classify this as a mystery, we readers find out in the first chapter that the killer is Michael Underhill, whose victim in that chapter is the wife of the MC, Jack Pellum. Jack is a former detective who is obsessed with finding out who killed his wife about three years earlier. The only mystery for the reader is WHY he killed her, but do I care? I generally love mysteries but not pure thrillers, and among the genre, I am tired of reading about serial killers. However, this di ...more
Feb 10, 2018 rated it it was ok
Some parts were really good. But I completely lost interest after awhile and skimmed the last third. (The female characters were cardboard cutouts. Had absolutely no idea why Jack was with Kim. )
Gloria Feit
Jan 01, 2018 rated it it was amazing
From the publisher: Jack Pellum is a Detroit detective who left the force after his wife was murdered in a random attack. But Jack never bought that theory, and the case was never solved. Eighteen months later, Jack is working as a part-time private investigator while continuing the hunt for an elusive person of interest in his wife’s murder: a man in a fedora who Jack is convinced could break open the case. When a local writer’s cryptic suicide note suggests the man in the fedora actually exist ...more
Nov 05, 2019 rated it really liked it
Harry Dolan has to be the best author of crime and mysteries you've never heard of. Well, until I came across one of his books, possibly through The Mystery Guild. I'm not sure which one I read first but it was good; very, very good, and then I read the next two, and now this, The Man In The Crooked Hat.

Dolan didn't miss a beat with this book and in fact of the four I've now read this may be the best. Just excellent.

Jack Pellum is the son of a federal judge, an ex detective, a currently licens
Scottsdale Public Library
Detective Jack Pellum's wife, Olivia, was murdered as she took photos by a lake, and every day since then he has been doggedly following one possible clue: a man in a crooked hat he had glimpsed days before her death. Jack leaves the police force and working as a private investigator peppers the streets with flyers of a crude drawing of a man in a crooked hat. As fate would have it, a suicide leads him to the first of a handful of unsolved murders. Was his wife's murder random as it appears thes ...more
Judith Shadford
Apr 30, 2018 rated it really liked it
Dolan, apparently, is noted for his intricate plotting. My instinct says "thriller" following with "never mind". But fortunately, Man in the Crooked Hat has changed my mind, at least in the case of Dolan. Highly intricate. Lots of characters. But the pace is measured until the pace itself heightens the tension. Jack Pellum, the protagonist, former cop, with a murdered wife. A father that keeps trying to fix Jack's life and has the money and political connections to do just that. The murderer at ...more
Oct 15, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery, first-reads
A good mystery in which the obsessive is the protagonist unwilling to return to his life after his wife is found murdered. A police detective, he only wants to work one case, his dead wife’s, so that’s what he does as he leaves everything and everyone else behind. The reader is introduced to the killer right away but how he will be caught and what leads him towards his victims, those issues drive the tale and keep the pages turning. It’s a hard book to put down. I received my copy from Penguin’s ...more
Oct 29, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Jack Pellum is a very interesting character who is obsessed with finding the man who murdered his wife and is determined to solve the mystery. As we follow Jack, there are many twists and turns along the path and many events that rely on one another to lead him to the end. I am looking forward to reading another book by Harry Dolan. I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review.
Mar 23, 2018 rated it really liked it
Jack Pellum is a broken man. Two years ago, he saw a man in a crooked hat watching his wife. The next day she was murdered.

He's left his job as a police detective to concentrate solely on finding his wife's murderer. He has been posting hundreds of flyers with a vague drawing of the suspect.

But now he has stumbled across others who think they saw a man in a crooked hat before other murders.

Is there a serial killer on the loose or are none of the crimes related?

Harry Dolan writes a great book. Th
Feb 03, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Twisty and turning plot kept me up many a night when I really should have been enjoying my beauty sleep! Harry Dolan is a writer worth spending time with. I eagerly await his next book! Do your self a favor and run out and get this one!
Feb 04, 2018 rated it liked it
Got this book from the library as a blind date with a book. It was okay. You find out at the beginning who the killer is. The rest of the book tells how Jack goes about catching him, then what happens when Jack finds him.
May 10, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
A slow starter but it picks up and involves a lot of detailed detective work. Not as much a thrilling read as it is a fairly satisfying tale of dedicated sleuthing.
May 07, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2018-books-read
Jack Pellum used to be a Detroit police detective, until his wife was murdered. In the two years since her death he has been trying to find her killer and find himself. He believes he had seen “the killer” near his apartment days before his wife was killed and he spends his time posting notices with a sketch of a man in a crooked hat. There are an assortment of characters that come and go as well as a list of other murders that may or may or may not have been committed by the same person. Even t ...more
Carolyn Feltus-atkinson
Jan 04, 2018 rated it really liked it
This was a pretty light read considering it was about a serial killer. Even though you know who it is in the first chapter it is still kind of a surprise ending.
Jun 10, 2019 rated it did not like it
New author to me and I was intrigued by the book’s description. Unfortunately the plot was somewhat contrived and not very interesting.
Dec 16, 2017 rated it really liked it
A great mystery! Clearly written and not confusing at all but a perplexing mystery as it should be! Sadly it is the last Northshire Selects book from my Christmas gift last year. I can’t say enough good things about the selections I have received from them. Support your local bookstores, folks!
Lisa Robbins
Nov 19, 2017 rated it really liked it
This was my first experience with Harry Dolan, and I’m definitely going to look into more! Jack Pellum was an interesting character, searching for the man who killed his wife. The reader knows from the beginning who the killer is, though we don’t know the motive. Jack looks into other murders around the area, wondering if perhaps they’re related and if he’ll find the man in the crooked hat if he could just solve them. Jack, and the reader with him, follows many twists and turns on the road to th ...more
Nov 19, 2017 rated it liked it
I enjoyed this book. Both men had interesting lives and dynamics to add to the story. I shared an instant connection with Jack. I felt his anguish to find the man responsible for murdering his wife. He is a man on a mission. Which, is the must deadliest type of man.

Then you have Michael. Who, played an important role in this story but at the same time he was underwhelming in a way. It felt like Jack was written more in the story than Michael. In addition, Michael did not put off an engaging per
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HARRY DOLAN is the author of the mystery/suspense novels BAD THINGS HAPPEN, VERY BAD MEN, THE LAST DEAD GIRL, and THE MAN IN THE CROOKED HAT. His new novel THE GOOD KILLER comes out on February 4, 2020, from The Mysterious Press/Grove Atlantic. He graduated from Colgate University, where he majored in philosophy and studied fiction-writing with the novelist Frederick Busch. A native of Rome, New Y ...more

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