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October 4, 2012 | 12:00 a.m. CST
For Joan Medford, it all started with her unloving husband’s fatal car accident. From that point on, her life would never be the same, for different reasons than one might assume.
The Cocktail Waitress tells the story of a recently widowed mother, Joan, and her trials following her unloving husband’s death. To support herself and regain custody of her young son, Joan takes a position as a cocktail waitress. She soon finds herself in one of Cain’s classic triangles when she’s caught between a rich man and a young schemer. When someone else suddenly dies, readers are left pondering if Joan is a loving mother, a killer or both.
Publisher: Hard Case Crime
The suspense means James M. Cain fans finally have something new to feed their literary cravings. More than three decades since the author’s death, the book’s release is an unexpected literary event.
Cain has been touted by many as one of the great American crime writers, penning novels such as The Postman Always Rings Twice, Mildred Pierce and Double Indemnity. First-time Cain readers won’t be left behind, however; his writing techniques and cliff-hanging crime scenarios in The Cocktail Waitress are reasons enough to create Cain converts.
In-depth description of the characters in the story makes their personalities come to life in such detail that it feels like the reader knows every one of them on a personal level.
Although this story keeps the reader involved and interested, the plot and mystery itself seem a bit predictable as they follow a traditional crime novel formula. It was easy to predict the final scenes.
The novel, written just before his death in 1977, is dated with its old-fashioned scenarios, but there is no disputing Cain’s crime-novel writing style is classic.