Some people say small towns have no secrets -- but Charley Selkirk's mother, Frances, managed to keep one for years. It was a weighty secret, and almost crippled them both. When she finally shed it that summer, three people would die.
The summer is hot in Barrington, Georgia, and Charley, who is seventeen years old, is having a run of bad luck. His girlfriend has rejected him, his fellow white people think he is a fool, black people don't trust him, and a whole staff of football coaches is ready to kill him. His food doesn't taste good, his truck won't run right, and he hasn't caught a fish in ages. Oh, and he is still a virgin, too.
But in G.D. Gearino's "Blue Hole," Charley's luck changes finally. It happens the day he meets Tallasee Tynan, an award-winning photographer as alienated from the town as he, and feeling just about the same level of dejection. Charley signs on as a gofer in Tallasee's studio and soon finds himself sorting out much more than photographs. When an old mountain woman asks Tallasee to find her grandson -- a strange boy who was last seen at a local hippie commune -- Charley begins a series of adventures that leads him to uncover a sinister secret related to his mom's mysterious past, and his discovery sets a series of events in motion that eventually turns him from an awkward, insecure boy into a man.
At once a vivid picture of Southern small-town life, with its complicated relationships, loyalties, and deceptions, a murder mystery with page-turning suspense, and a heartwarming coming-of-age story, "Blue Hole" is G.D. Gearino's finest effort yet.