Adam, an "agricultural consultant" who is working in Afghanistan, flies home to attend his father's funeral. They've been estranged for 10 years, and Adam finds it's easier to bury his father's body than the problems he's left behind. Faced with a disinherited mother, a brother who could be facing a murder charge, and his father's latest girlfriend, who stands to get most of the estate, Adam is more concerned with protecting his family than seeking justice.
This interesting psychological thriller borders on noir without quite making the leap. It features a large cast of characters, all of whom are intriguingly flawed, and none of whom is particularly likeable. I think Adam is the weak point of the story, because while he's entitled to be wounded and edgy given the circumstances, he comes across as smug, snide, and rather obnoxious.
Although told in third-person, the whole story is seen from Adam's eyes. Consequently, we get a lot of exposure to his feelings and emotions as he uncovers more and more family secrets. But the sentiments get very repetitive, and we hear over and over how he hates his father, and hates his father, and hates his father. We learn just how similar the two are, which builds into a gripping story. But it also makes it more difficult to journey along with Adam, with nothing to counterbalance his unrelenting cynicism.
Patterson masterfully uses flashbacks to slowly reveal festering truths, destroy delicate facades, and built tension. There are plenty of jolting surprises without overusing red herrings. It's very well written, just not very comfortable to read.