cover image M.I.A.


Michael Allen Dymmoch, . . St. Martin?s/Dunne, $24.95 (292pp) ISBN 978-0-312-37371-9

Dymmoch, a writer of crime and mystery novels, takes a turn in this mostly successful novel about enduring love and family secrets. Rhiann Fahey’s second husband, Mickey, a cop, was killed in a car crash, and his best cop-friend, Rory Sinter, is determined to look after Rhiann, even if she finds him creepy. Rhiann’s son, Jimmy, born during her first marriage and now a teenager, is curious about his birth father and the extended family he never met. (They cut off Rhiann after Jimmy’s dad went MIA in Vietnam.) John Devlin, their new next-door neighbor, gives Jimmy a job in his garage and offers guidance to Jimmy and support to Rhiann. As the bonds between Rhiann, John and Jimmy grow, so does Rory Sinter’s erratic behavior. Rhiann flashes back frequently to her younger years around the time she got pregnant, setting the stage for a couple of secrets to be revealed toward the novel’s end. Though the secrets aren’t exactly surprising, readers will stick with the story to see how unhinged Rory gets. (Apr.)