Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Cain lives again

Maybe there's some more Jim Thompson out there too...
Telling of a beautiful young widow who takes a job in a cocktail bar after her husband dies under "suspicious circumstances", The Cocktail Waitress was the last book written by Cain before his death in 1977, but it was never published. Charles Ardai, the founder of American publisher Hard Case Crime, was alerted to its existence by the author Max Allan Collins, and has spent the last nine years tracking down the original manuscript and securing rights in the novel.

He called his discovery "like finding a lost manuscript by Hemingway or a lost score by Gershwin – that's how big a deal this is". The author of classic crime novels including Mildred Pierce – adapted into the acclaimed HBO miniseries starring Kate Winslet – and Double Indemnity, Cain, together with Dashiell Hammett and Raymond Chandler, "is universally considered one of the three greatest writers of noir crime fiction who ever lived," said Ardai. The Cocktail Waitress is "the Holy Grail" for crime fans, he added.

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