It is June 1971. Dominick Pindle, a tenderhearted but aimless Massachusetts teenager, spends his nights driving around with his mother and dragging his wayward father out of bars. Late one evening, Dominick's search puts him face-to-face withhis father's seductive mistress, Edie Kramer. Instantly in lust, he begins a forbidden relationship with this beautiful, mysterious woman. Before long, though, their erotic entanglement leads to a shocking death, and Dominick discovers that the mother he betrayed hid secrets as dark and destructive as his own.
Charged with the exhilarating narrative pace of a thriller and set during a complicated and explosive era, Boy Still Missing is the critically acclaimed debut novel from John Searles. It renders a deeply affecting portrait of a boy whose passage into adulthood proves as complex and impassioned as the history that unfolds before his eyes.
"If only I could have stopped the most important person in my life from dying... alone." This much-anticipated first novel from Searles (book editor at Cosmopolitan) is a vivid blue-collar coming-of-age story with more than the usual supply of plot twists: abductions, abortion, adoption, alcoholism, media frenzies and extramarital affairs contribute first vim, then tragedy, to the 16th year in the life of Dominick Pindle. Searles's tale opens in 1971, in a "desolate, middle-of-nowhere" New England town, where narrator Dominick and his determinedly sunny mother spend Saturday nights trawling bars in search of his wayward father. When Dominick spots his dad's truck outside sexy divorc e Edie Kramer's house, it's the start of a fateful relationship. Edie is pregnant by Dominick's father, who's no longer seeing her; hurting for money, Edie convinces Dominick to steal his mother's hidden cash and give it to her. But Dominick's mom is also secretly pregnant (by the town sheriff). Without the money she had salted away, she can't afford a safe illegal abortion and bleeds to death in a motel room after trying to terminate her pregnancy herself. The next day, Dominick leaves for New York City in search of facts about his mother and his mysterious half-brother. After a number of hairpin turns, intrigue and reconciliations, the book's climactic section finds Dominick and his new girlfriend Jeanny holed up in a motel room with Edie's baby in a desperate attempt to get the media to investigate his mother's death. Like Russell Banks, Searles combines a rapid and intricate plot with major social concerns. Some readers will find Searles heavy-handed in his depiction of the pre-Roe politics of abortion; many more, though, will find his story of hard choices, bleak times and unwilling kidnappers captivating indeed.