We gave it a B
Ghosts of dead relatives and old noir films haunt this deft first novel. There’s nothing terribly original in the story of Harry Preston, a New Orleans lawyer and widowed dad who falls under the spell of a socialite with secrets — nothing except the tone of wary emotional clarity. Walter McCloskey has written a quiet thriller, which only sounds perverse until you realize how perceptive Harry is to nuances of bayou class and morality. In Risking Elizabeth, the author sketches a picture of the French Quarter you could use as a map and shows the wordless love that can arise between a man and his 9-year-old son.