The Collected Works of Max Haines, Vol. 4: 1993-1995
Geoff Cragg is a tenured instructor in the Faculty of General Studies at
the University of Calgary in Alberta.
This is the fourth volume of “Crime Flashbacks” collected from Max
Haines’s weekly crime columns of 1993–95. The material was
originally published in Doctors Who Kill (1993) and Multiple Murderers I
and II (1996). “Crime Flashbacks” are short, breezy, and enjoyably
lurid retellings of murders, some recent, others from the distant past.
The book is organized in seven parts, with each section concerned either
with murderous doctors or with multiple murderers. Overall, the
collection lacks coherence and could have benefited from some further
framing or context, such as a brief foreword for each section. That
complaint aside, the virtues of Haines’s writing stand out. His tone
is direct and jocular, his statement of facts is clear and
straightforward, and like many veteran journalists, he generally eschews
psychological assessments. Devotees of Max Haines will find this is a
predictably attractive work.