The Disappearance of the Tall Man in the High Hat is about a man who, sick of the present, with its divisions and disasters, decides to try to change it by changing the past. Of course, the problem is access to the past. But what better place to find it than at a history museum?
At the same time, Alex, who has become an amateur geologist and is making a collection of local rocks, develops a special admiration for Samuel Read Hall who, in the 19th century, did the same. He seems still to be at it—Alex sights him several times on the tops of hills searching for rocks, flora and fauna.But Hall doesn’t seem to see him. Alex tries to understand the presence of the past in his life and worries that he may be cracking up.
The past haunts all our suspects when Jocelyn Kenney is killed. She lived there. The past is where she damaged everyone’s lives, including her own.
Still, as tangled up in the past as the characters are, murder is at the heart of the book. Murder is no nightmare of another time. It’s very much of the present—and it changes everything.