Julie Failla Earhart's Reviews > The Way Home

The Way Home by George Pelecanos
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Jun 30, 2009

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Read in June, 2009

The Way Home is the latest suspense/thriller from bestselling author George Pelecanos. I’ve heard lots of good things about Pelecanos, but I’ve never read anything by him.
In this outing, Pelecanos explores that delicate balance of father-and-son relationships. Chris Flynn is a pretty good kid, rather normal in fact, until puberty hits. Then something in his brain goes haywire and he snaps. He no longer cares about anything, especially anything his father Thomas is interested in. The first section of the book is titled “Bad Chris.”
Chris becomes interested in all things illegal which sets him on a collision course with the law. Before too long, he is incarcerated in a juvenile detention center in Maryland, the only Caucasian in a predominately African-American institution. His parents are worried for him, but he seems to get along just fine.
After he is released, Chris and a friend from prison, Ben, join the elder Flynn’s D.C. carpet business as installers. Now 26, Chris is ready to take his place in the world. He doesn’t feel he needs that college education his parents so wanted for him. He is happy making thirty grand a year. He needs little and wants little.
The guys are sent to install some new carpet in a home where the homeowner recently passed way, leaving no descendants. The realtor has bought the property to flip. As the guys do their job, they come across an old concealed duffel bag containing fifty thousand dollars; a life-changing sum. The boys must decide if they want to return to a life of crime, or continue to walk the straight and narrow.
I was extremely disappointed in The Way Home. It was hard to feel any empathy for Chris or his friends nor his parents. There is a lot of repetition---information given multiple times--- that slows down the action and dissolves what little tension there was in the book. The story picked up speed about page two hundred and eighteen. But in a three hundred twenty-three page novel, it was way too late.
Review originally appeared on www.armchairinterviews.com.
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