Fol­low the Sun

Edward J. De­laney

Foreword Reviews - - Reviews - SU­SAN WAG­GONER

Tur­tle Point Press (JUNE) Hard­cover $26 (280pp) 978-1-885983-55-8

Out­stand­ing di­a­logue and re­al­is­tic char­ac­ters il­lu­mi­nate a con­vinc­ing mys­tery in Edward J. De­laney’s Fol­low the Sun.

In coastal New Eng­land, tra­di­tion-hard­ened men are up against the sea, a dwin­dling sup­ply of lob­ster, and the temp­ta­tion of easy-to-score drugs. When Quinn Boyle and his crew­man, Freddy San­toro, go miss­ing on a run, it’s par for the course—es­pe­cially be­cause Quinn’s boat was barely sea­wor­thy and both Quinn and San­toro have drug and le­gal prob­lems.

As time length­ens and the men are pre­sumed dead, the book broad­ens to sur­vey the lives of those left be­hind. Fore­most are Quinn’s older brother, Rob­bie, and es­tranged teenage daugh­ter, Chris­tine.

Also in the mix are Dawn, Rob­bie’s ro­man­tic in­ter­est, and Gina, the ex-wife whom Quinn owes so much in al­imony and child sup­port that his dis­ap­pear­ance seems like a well-timed es­cape. All of these char­ac­ters are richly de­vel­oped and ab­sorb­ing.

The book moves eas­ily from the present to the past, fill­ing in the back­grounds of Rob­bie, Quinn, Gina, and San­toro in ways that make it clear that— Rob­bie’s sense of re­spon­si­bil­ity aside—life is eas­ier with­out the pres­ence of the dif­fi­cult, trou­bled men.

A tip from Dawn sug­gests that Quinn may not be dead at all; though it might be wiser to let dead dogs lie, Rob­bie feels com­pelled to put his job and his life sav­ings on the line and fol­low the slen­der lead.

The nar­ra­tive is well-crafted through­out, writ­ten in an art­fully terse style that not only car­ries the story but con­veys a sense of the work­ing-class world it’s set in. The di­a­logue is es­pe­cially sharp, de­liv­ered in quick, pol­ished punches. Char­ac­ters can be sar­cas­tic, even harsh in their deal­ings with each other, but their hu­man­ity and un­der­ly­ing sor­rows come through in ev­ery ex­change.

Fol­low the Sun is a re­al­is­ti­cally imag­ined mys­tery whose sat­is­fy­ing, if bit­ter­sweet, res­o­lu­tion never be­trays the hero­ism of or­di­nary lives.

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