I think that must be the affect that the author wanted to have because all through the book Silas recalls his childhood as he tries to find a missing young teenage girl as well solve the near-murder of his childhood friend Larry who is implicated in the disappearance of the teenage girl.
Silas, who is African American, was very poor as a child and Larry was white and very well to do. Both sets of parents forbid the friendship, but they would sneak off to the woods and hunt and play together. The friendship didn't last long though, Silas started playing baseball at school and started hanging around with the cool kids and Larry, well Larry was never cool.
As they grew up, Larry became more isolated. Eventually he was charged with a crime, but not convicted. It was because of this that the entire town ostracized him. Even his own parents could barely stand to be around him.
Silas moved away to attend another school about this time and didn't move back until 25 years later.
The author easily moves between the story of Silas and of Larry who we find out is a far more interesting character than one initially believes.
It is Silas' attention to Larry in the hospital and his care toward him despite the number of years they haven't spoken to each other that keeps you reading this book - not just the mystery of the teenage girl's disappearance and the mystery of who shot Larry.
I am not a mystery fan per se. I am not a hard-core who-done-it fan and I don't read the likes of Agatha Christie, Raymond Chandler, Dashiell Hammett, Sue Grafton, John Le Carre or any of their ilk, but I did like this book.
I guess if you like to read, you must be a mystery fan of some sorts - aren't all books a mystery before you read them?
Rating: 8/ 10
Publisher: William Morrow & Company
Edition: 1st Edition / 1st Printing