In the heat of the summer, Pete Boland finds himself interested in very little. Content with passing the long days alone, he is surprised when Nicole, an old friend invites him to a get together with the “old gang”, a group of kids he rarely even thinks about anymore. Even more surprising, Pete decides that he really wants to go. Inviting his next door neighbor, Raymond, a long time friend who is socially awkward and emotionally fragile, Pete agrees to meet up in the “den”, their old fort from long ago. Once there, Pete realizes how much has changed between the one time friends, and soon the past is brought up and with it hurt, pain, and anger. The party is over almost before it begins, and the group splits off into the darkness to join the large chaos of the summer carnival. The group never meets up again throughout the night, but each catches glimpses of each other in the crowd.
The next morning it is realized that a local girl, a somewhat celebrity, has gone missing….in addition, Raymond is gone too. Immediately, the group of friends become suspects, as they were the last people to be in contact with Raymond. Pete works to put together the pieces and the true story of what really happened that night. As each piece is examined, Pete begins to realize that each person had their own opportunity and motive. No one is assumed innocent.
Written by British author, Kevin Brooks, his scattered and abrupt style adds to the intensity of the novel’s mood. The reader feels that he/she is never really getting the true story of what happened from the characters. The tone is tense and adds to the overall mystery. The plot kept me guessing until the very end.