Three by Cain

Serenade, Love's Lovely Counterfeit, The Butterfly

All three books are written with an enduring view of the dark corners of the American psyche. Cain hammered high art out of the crude matter of betrayal, bloodshed, and perversity.

Serenade is the story of the eternal triangle - with a difference. John Howard Sharp is an American opera singer down on his luck, having just bombed in Rigoletto in Mexico City when he first encounters the beautiful Mexican-Indian prostitute called Juana. Miraculously, she offers him the chance to rebuild his career in Hollywood and New York but then Winston Hawes, the young, rich and well-connected conductor who had first launched Sharp, comes back into his life with terrible consequences.

In Love's Lovely Counterfeit, Ben Grace, a member of the organized crime gang that controls Lake City, leaks evidence implicating the leader in murder and tax evasion, leading to a violent struggle to maintain control of the city in face of a reforming mayoral candidate.

In The Butterfly, the life of an Appalachian coal miner, who has been separated from his family for years, is drastically changed and complicated as he seeks revenge when his daughter suddenly appears in his cabin, and he discovers the true identity of her illegitimate child.

Title: Three by Cain
Published: 1989
Genre: Novels