Thomas H. Cook writes novels posing as thrillers, but the seminal events that spearhead eventual actions have happened in the past, sometimes long in the past, and the intervening years have never been kind to his narrators. In this book, Luke, a writer who has never lived up to his early promise, is laden down with unresolved guilt and misplaced dreams. He says at one point that he is a boring teacher who writes books that bore even him, when he had hoped to write hands on histories that would make readers taste the campfire smoke and feel the dry soil in their fingers. As in Cook's other books, there is a lot of misunderstanding surrounding Luke's early life and that of his family in particular his father's murder. Cook presents his story seemingly straightforwardly in the form of an enounter between Luke and Lola Faye, a woman he has not seen in over 20 years and who he blames for his father's fate. But there are questions and as another reviewer has pointed out (wish I'd thought of it first), the novel is like Roshomon meets My Dinner With Andre. This book doesn't pack the same poignancy as Breakhart Hill or The Chatham School Affair (two of my favorites of his), but it is haunting and compulsively readable.