Love is hard to explain. Why Harry still loves Liz has no logic to the love. Mercurial in nature, impulsive to the core and completely self-absorbed Liz is enchanting but she casually breaks the hearts of man after man.
Harry finds her in his apartment one night after work. She has rightly assumed he will be glad to take her in for whatever time she will deign to spend with him.
His brief dream of reconciliation is dashed by her announcement that while she has left Coghlan there is a new well-to-do man with whom she will be living.
While Harry is dealing with his battered emotions Liz goes out for the evening and is brutally murdered.
Liz’s hold on Harry’s emotions is as strong after death as it was in life. He must find out who has killed her. Neither friends nor co-workers nor the police can sway him from his quest to solve the murder.
When he applies his lawyerly mind to his actions Harry sees there is no sense to his quest but sober analysis is outweighed by emotion.
The police see him as a primary suspect. What reasonable person would not be driven to anger by Liz’s easy disregard for Harry’s emotions and confident expectation he will readily serve her needs. They find his explanations of continuing love unconvincing.
As Harry delves into Liz’s life he finds assignations and dalliances that provide multiple suspects.
Yet Harry is fixated on Coghlan being the murderer or financing the murder. Contrary to all his legal experience he loses objectivity in assessing the evidence. His tunnel vision draws him towards Coghlan as directly as the police tunnel is focused on him. Both Harry and the police are caught up in proving suspicion rather than determining facts.
While Harry is an interesting character and Liz a compelling victim I found myself depressed reading the book. I could not find a character who is looking ahead in their life. All are caught up in past and current despair.
The Liverpool of All the Lonely People is a decaying, even decrepit, city with no apparent future. It is grim in appearance and long past the days of its glory as a leading port for England.
All the Lonely People is fine noir but I realize I am not fond of noir. The book is well written and I appreciate its characterization by the publisher as a crime classic. I may read another to see if Harry can raise himself from depression. He is a good man. He does frustrate me as a lawyer.