Ryan Dooley is a juvenile delinquent… isn’t he?
But he’s out now, and under the watchful eye of his uncle, who keeps close tabs on him. Dooley has had some tough knocks in life, and struggles to keep going some days, but he does keep going – to school, to his job, to his girlfriend. But trouble always seems to find him – first from his friend Jeffie, and then his mother. And it’s tough to know who he should trust.
We understand how conflicted Dooley is, how he struggles to stay out of trouble, how he wrestles with the highs and insecurities of young love, how he keeps calm amid rumours and murder and chaos, and how he keeps on going even when he is bombarded with the type of judgment that always sees the worst.
Author Norah McClintock provides us with gritty insight into the complexities of life and the depth of human nature. Through her richly developed portrayal of Ryan Dooley’s thoughts and emotions, we can grasp the multidimensional reality that we feel in ourselves, but don’t necessarily acknowledge in others. McClintock’s style makes it easy to fall into the story, and to feel that this could happen to that guy in your class, or your neighbour.
Although published in 2009, the one part of this story that feels out of touch with contemporary readers is Dooley’s job working in a video store, which are becoming obsolete.
Dooley Takes a Fall introduces us to Ryan Dooley. Homicide Related is the next book, followed by Victim Rights.