Malone, Michael. The Four Corners of the Sky.
Another Advanced Reader's Copy and Blog Tour book, The Four Corners of the Sky was all over the place. There were so many digressions that it was difficult to find the main plot (despite it being mentioned many times, keeping track of it wasn't easy).
Annie, a Navy jet pilot, was left with her aunt on her seventh birthday by her con artist father Jack. After having been absent from her life for years, Jack calls home asking that Annie fly the airplane he left her to St. Louis. He is dying, and he is in trouble with some dangerous characters.
The book is long and convoluted, moving back and forth from past to present and from character to character. Although there were a couple of characters I liked, the narrative has no since of continuity. While Annie and Jack would logically seem to be the most important characters, they are the least developed-- which has an odd effect on the novel as a whole.
The plot is complicated, but not necessarily complex, and the novel lacks an overall cohesiveness. Plenty of symbols (i.e. Annie's last name is Peregrine) and lots of quotes from movies and from Shakespeare, but they seem overdone, an indulgence. The quotes aren't there in an allusive fashion, as kind of an inside message to those who are widely read, but are fully explained in a pedantic manner.
I did like Raffy, Sam, Clark, and Georgette, but Annie and Jack and Daniel Hart never filled out. I'm not sure how to categorize this novel as it contained elements of several genres: mystery, suspense, romance... None are fully realized.
I fear this is another book where my opinion may be in the minority.
Michael Malone has written ten novels and has won the Edgar, the O. Henry, the Writers Guild Award, and the Emmy.
Other reviews: favorable - Grace's Book Blog and less favorable - At Home with Books.
Fiction. 2009. 544 pages.