First edition of The Big Clock published by Harcourt Brace in 1946
This thriller by Kenneth Fearing is my favorite of his books; The Big Clock tells the enthralling story of George Stroud, family man and news executive, who is the last person to see his mistress Pauline Delos alive. The problem is that he knows his boss, powerful news magnate Earl Janoth, is the murderer. Janoth knows someone was in the shadows the night she was killed but he can't figure out who it was, and uses the vast media resources of Janoth Enterprises to track down this supposed murderer, most specifically his publication "Crimeways," which George Stroud heads up. Tasked with having to track himself down, Stroud must race against time to prove his own innocence and Janoth's guilt. The Big Clock is stylistically unique, especially for a crime novel from 1946, in that most of the chapters are told from a different character's point of view while juggling the plot. It is also poetically eerie in certain ways like how each member of George Stroud's family has a variation of the name George (i.e. Georgette and Georgia), and all of Janoth's publications have the same kind of title ("Futureways," "Newsways," etc.). Fearing's novel feels like it exists within a noir-ish microcosm of old New York and is tremendously fun to read. This first edition features great cover art attributed only to someone who signed "Roger" on the top right corner of the front cover.