|About the Book|
Told in the words of his wife, this is the story of the infamous disappearance of Judge Joseph Crater back in 1931. He was never located. Stella Crater wrote a slim but solid account of the circumstances surrounding her husbands disappearance- the facts she gave seem to be accurate, as they match up with other accounts I have read. More importantly in my view, Stella gives an excellent portrait of her husbands personality and her own, and as you read about what happened to her during the search you come to grips with common problems in left-behind families that most people dont think about: for instance, she suffered numerous financial problems after her husband vanished because his income had of course stopped and most of their assets were in his name.The primary thing that strikes me about this book, however, is Stellas immense capacity for self-delusion and blind faith. Its really rather sad. She goes out of her way to assure the reader that her husband—whom she obviously adored—was an honest and honorable man in all aspects of his life and that he had never been unfaithful to her. She is absolutely sure of all this, in spite of ample evidence of Judge Craters extramarital affairs and political corruption and in spite of the fact that, prior to his disappearance, Stella really knew very little about his finances or his business life. She didnt even find out he had been appointed to the state Supreme Court until she read it in the newspapers after the induction ceremony. This book is definitely worth reading for the characterization alone, it you can find it. I have read only one other full-length book about Joseph Craters disappearance, Richard Tofels Vanishing Point: The Disappearance of Judge Crater, and the New York He Left Behind.