Gabriel McCloud, an alcoholic from a family of losers, is dead at 18, an ""inevitable"" end met when he slammed his truck into a tree. Coming in after this grisly moment, readers share other characters' reactions to Gabe's death--and learn why the violent end of a troublemaking McCloud was not so expected after all. Girlfriend Jennie literally goes to the edge of a cliff, where she awaits the tide to sweep away her pain and the baby within her. Teacher Carolyn Sanders mourns the loss of a bright student done in by an abusive background. Gabe's father, remorseful for mistakes of his own that led his son to self-destruct, teeters on the edge of lazing his two-year, self-enforced sobriety. Through such perspectives, a complex portrait emerges: a young man with potential who could have conquered his past with the one break no one gave him. The events unfold in orderly fashion, each chapter featuring the distinctive first-person reflections of one of many characters, transporting readers into the heart of this multifaceted tragedy. Provocative suspense of a different color-not whodunit, or why, or how, but what now?