The Reconstructionist: Book summary and reviews of The Reconstructionist by Nick Arvin

The Reconstructionist

A Novel

by Nick Arvin

The Reconstructionist by Nick Arvin X
The Reconstructionist by Nick Arvin
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  • Published in USA  Mar 2012
    352 pages
    Genre: Novels

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Book Summary

One instant can change an entire lifetime.

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.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"Impressive... The novel is suffused with sharp turns and minute, telling details that add up to a riveting consideration of risk and responsibility." - Publishers Weekly

"Accidents are everywhere and unavoidable, Arvin means to say, but ironically his characters feel overly controlled." - Kirkus Reviews

"Nick Arvin has written a book with a heart like a vise. The detectives here are engineers, the crimes are traffic accidents, and the law is the law of physics. But somehow - don't ask me how, I was too busy turning the pages - The Reconstructionist becomes a contemplation of the broadest questions of life: How do we love one another? How do we survive the accidents of our lives? Or is it fate? Nick Arvin is an immensely gifted writer, and he has given us a thrilling, soulful book." - David Wroblewski, author of The Story of Edgar Sawtelle

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Author Information

Nick Arvin

Nick Arvin is the award-winning author of the novel Articles of War, named one of the Best Books of the Year by Esquire, and the story collection In the Electric Eden. A graduate of the Iowa Writers' Workshop, he also holds degrees in mechanical engineering from the University of Michigan and Stanford, and has worked in both automotive and forensic engineering. He lives in Denver, Colorado. Visit him online at www.nickarvin.com.

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