Star quarterback Neil Garvin is the envy of other students in his Nevada high school – and is almost as cruel to them as his abusive father is to him. Then one night on a dark, isolated road outside of town, a random act of violence claims a life. Nothing, Neil swears, could be worse...until his father, the local sheriff, masterminds a cover-up.
Emotionally deadened and wrestling with the mystery of his mother's disappearance years ago, Neil must find his way out of his prison of fear and discover the one thing that can set him free.
"Dark, sparklingly written…the story transforms into something far more complex than how a criminal covers his tracks… subtle, deadpan humor and slyly evoked telling details… an emotionally fraught father-son relationship gives the book its depth… Watt delivers a moving, multifaceted story that sharply explores the legacy of violence, distorted forms of love and the high cost of genuine freedom."
– The New York Times Book Review
"Exquisite psychological fiction… resonating with suspense, wit and perception."
– Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
"Here, undoubtedly, the best first foreign novel of the new year! A true revelation. Far from the traditional whodunit, the novel takes paths much more complex than those of an ordinary police investigation… Exceptional by the force and the smoothness of the feelings which it describes, Watt’s novel touches in a masterly way…explores with clearness a small community with choking social codes… its voice resonates."
- Initiales (Independent Booksellers Assoc. of France)
"The cream of the debut-novel crop… a literary feast of the first order… its 17-year-old narrative voice rings entirely true." – Denver Rocky Mountain News
"This debut novel reveals an assured talent for complex narrative… a sensitive, darkly funny exploration of a poisonous father-son dynamic… the cranked up drama is arresting… keenly observed, touching and unusually honest in its sensual revelations."
– The Globe and Mail
"Filled with very big laughs and bull’s eye observations about modern society. Much here reminds you of Stephen King’s early novels on the horrors of growing up."
– Cleveland Plain Dealer
"A maelstrom of a novel… Watt writes with a lot of punch, turning the conventions of hard-boiled pulp upon the miseries of youth." – The Los Angeles Times
"Guilt runs through every page of this book like the writing in a stick of rock… terse prose and a tight plot provide the perfect pitch for this story of family secrets, revenge and redemption."
– The London Times
"One of this fall’s most talked about books." - Interview Magazine
"Watt has a knack for deploying well-timed plot points to reveal crucial information… the dialogue is savage…vivid… incisive scenes that capture the petty cruelties and poignant betrayals of adolescents." - Publisher’s Weekly
"Bold… it is hard to think of another novel that delves so tellingly into the interior life of a high school athlete." - Washington Post Book World
(from Book World Raves – Year in Review Recommended List)
"A beautifully written story about high school sports as therapy and dangerous distraction, and the fragile bonds that hold families together… well deserved stardom!"
– The Chicago Tribune
"A stunning literary debut… DIAMOND DOGS snaps along at Hitchcockian pace and boasts enough clever literary devices to occupy any hip high school English teacher for a semester. The dark humor begs for a screenplay." – The Toronto Star
"An exciting debut… a tight drama that quickly flies by… the story is a movie, a perfect teenage film noir." – Seattle Times
"Watt is a superb storyteller with an amazing ability to create suspense… fascinating and elaborate characters… multi-layered, complex and tragically realistic."
–Winnipeg Free Press
About Alan Watt
See more books from this Author
Published September 1, 2000
by Little, Brown and Company.
Literature & Fiction, Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Action & Adventure, Crime.