What if a happy gang of teenagers take a vow in 1972 to reunite twenty years later, and one of them seems to have vanished?
Whatever happened to Angel Busky? Beautiful Angel was sexually adventurous, collecting high-school virgins just for the fun of it, planning to have six children by six different men, and the like. Two decades later, Willa, the smart girl of the ragtag group, wonders about her erstwhile bosom buddy. Willa’s become the writer of a tell-all biography of Ivy Compton-Burnett, which has inexplicably found avid readers. At a book signing, she runs into still-handsome Patrick, another member of the gang, now an NYU professor. He doesn’t know what became of Angel, either, but they catch up on bad boy Caleb; Jeremiah, the virgin geek; Shake, the harmonica player; Vinny, the tough-talking guinea; and Travis, the stoner. Willa wants to dig deeper, being no stranger to the dark side of human nature: Her husband Simon, a criminal lawyer, died when a tenement, the site of his love nest with a lady judge, collapsed. Willa was shattered but she keeps busy raising her 14-year-old daughter Chloe—and fretting lately about the pretty teenager’s sudden interest in a delivery boy. She hires p.i. Jovan Luisi to find Angel or figure out what happened to her, not knowing that the taciturn investigator is instantly smitten with her. There’s a long road ahead, covering everyone’s post–high-school history: Travis builds abode houses in the Southwest; Caleb married a rich widow and got into unsavory schemes; Vinny has a gas station and auto-repair shop; Shake still makes that old harmonica moan and wail. But what about Jeremiah? He was always a little strange, but now . . . . Some screaming, some skulking around in the woods, until the not-surprising truth is revealed in a lackluster denouement.
Sluggish pace and colorless prose don’t add up to much of a mystery, in this seventh novel from the author of Suspicion (1999), etc.