As a boy, Ellis Barstow heard the sound of the collision that killed Christopher, his older half brother – an accident that would haunt him for years. A decade later, searching for purpose after college, Ellis takes a job as a forensic reconstructionist, investigating and re-creating the details of fatal car accidents – under the guidance of the irascible John Boggs, who married Christopher’s girlfriend. Ellis takes naturally to the work, fascinated by the task of trying to find reason, and justice, within the seemingly random chaos of smashed glass and broken lives. But Ellis is harboring secrets of his own – not only his memory of the car crash that killed his brother but also his feelings for Boggs’s wife, Heather, which soon lead to a full-blown affair. And when Boggs inexplicably disappears, Ellis sets out to find him… and to try to make sense of the crash site his own life has become.
Raising a host of universal questions – Can science ever explain matters of the heart? Can we ever escape the gravitational pull of the past? – Nick Arvin’s novel is at once deeply moving and compulsively readable.