Publishers Weekly® Reviews
- Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
- Review Date: 2016-09-19
- Reviewer: Staff
This slow, repetitive novel is part coming-of-age story, part tale of suspense, and about twice as long as it should be. In 1979, a tornado nearly destroyed the Texas city of Witchita Falls and forever altered the lives of five boys. Four years later, each boynow adolescentis still haunted by the killer storm. Strangest is Todd Willis, just awakened from a four-year-long bout of catatonic schizophrenia caused by the storm. Despite his lost time, hes oddly mature for his 13 years, making up songslike the eponymous Don Henley tunethat havent been written yet. Another boy writes a short story that summarizes a future Stephen King novel. Under Todds influence, the boys commit arson but are never caught. Then, 29 years after the tornado, someone starts burning down important locations from each boys life. Finding the culprit means uncovering secrets from the past. After a promising opening, Cox (Rift) frustrates the reader with repetitious scenes, flat characterization, and frequently awkward writing make this story merely frustrating rather than tense or surprising. Agent: Matthew Bialer, Sanford J. Greenburger Associates. (Sept.)