It all starts when a bank robber, sexual predator, and all around bad guy, on the run in very rural North Dakota ends up killing himself, practically in the author's backyard. As a journalist, she begins to investigate and finds herself more and more drawn into the story and the Krimm family. The book takes shape more as a revealing expose into how Cecile Wehrman goes about delving into the life and crimes of Jimmy Krimm. Her investigation brings to light a family with shared experiences of sexual abuse. Cecile relies partly on her own experiences as a child sexual abuse survivor to understand the dynamics involved.
There is no way I can say I enjoyed this book. The subject matter doesn't lend itself to enjoyment per se. What I can say is that the book is well written and edited and honest in its content. There were times that the subject matter was simply too graphic for me. (actually the cover scared me witless from time to time when I studied it) While I understand the need to bring to light the realities of abuse, be warned that the realities can be stark and alarming. Interesting though, for sure. I found myself as intrigued as Ms Wehrman as to how different people can experience similar trauma and go forward on entirely different paths.
Even as Harry was taking steps to form a conventional, law-abiding life, he was witness to or had knowledge of most of the crimes Jimmy committed while he was still at home in Taylor. Though Charlene knew nothing of the cromes he was committing against his brother, she started becoming aware of Jimmy's bent for theft. (pg 86)