I read Unger’s Beautiful Lies awhile back and liked it enough to pick up two more. Fragile is a horrible-thing-happens-in-a-small-town story, where the horrible thing reminds everyone of that one other horrible thing that happened twenty years ago.
So, yeah. Flashbacks in the narrative. I liked the broad canvas of characters, although it was pretty heavy on the idea that everyone is exactly the same as they were in high school and their kids are like that, too.
However. The main mystery – the disappearance of Charlene – is decent. It even uses Facebook to pick up clues from those crazy kids. (Although I really hope that kids do a better job of picking passwords than this book suggests.) It makes a couple of interesting points about the way kids present themselves, as opposed to the way they really feel. Unfortunately, that story ties up about 75% of the way through and we are left with the guilt of the grown ups.
My biggest gripe with the plot is that (mild SPOILERS here) there is no way under heaven that a psychologist in real life would treat the recently raped girlfriend of her teenaged son. No. Way. The fact that said psychologist hesitates when the girlfriend asks if she can continue treatment with her is not good enough. You really gotta find a better way to move a plot forward than that.
Unger seems to have set up this book so that other novels might take place in this town. Since I seem to have liked the characters I am supposed to like, I think I can safely go back for a visit.