John Franklin Bardin
John Franklin Bardin (November 30, 1916 – July 9, 1981) was an American mystery/thriller writer whose strange dark novels — written in the 1940s while he was working a series of odd jobs — won belated fame thirty years later when they were hailed by Julian Symons as being equal to Edgar Allan Poe and Patricia Highsmith. Brought back into print by Penguin via a John Franklin Bardin Omnibus, these revived tales gave Bardin the confidence to write anew, as well as to own up to several other volumes he had written under another pseudonym. The greatest praise of critics was reserved for The Deadly Percheron, a dark, noir-ish tale of a psychiatrist who, in the midst of pursuing a remarkable criminal case, is struck on the head, awakening years later to find himself a disfigured patient in a public mental hospital. Despite falling in and out of print since, this novel remains Bardin's best-known, in part through its being the novel that Bob Hoskins' character is reading throughout Neil Jordan's film Mona Lisa, which also features a Percheron and a couple of odd dwarfs in its final scenes.