Before reading Dogwood, I read other reviews for it. Those reviews did not makes me want to read the book, but I had already decided that I was going to.
Those reviews never even touched the surface of the originality in this book.
Will Hatfield has just returned to his hometown of Dogwood after being released from prison. There, he hopes to find his childhood sweetheart Karin. The crime that Will committed is well hidden until the author deems it necessary for the reader to know.
Karin is still living in Dogwood, only she is married to a local pastor. The problem is, she doesn't want to be. She still loves Will. She confides these feelings to her close friend Ruthie Hayes, an old lady in her church who's always getting into people's business.
Danny Boyd is a boy struggling with a terrible secret: his part in his sisters' death.
Bobby Lee is Karin's brother, working as a police officer in Dogwood. He is married to Lynda, who is expecting a baby.
All of these characters are connected somehow, though the reasons are well hidden until the end. Besides being connected, these characters are good characters; almost on the level of Kristen Heitzmann.
What Chris Fabry did with this plot was he came up with a simple crime and twisted and wove it into a character-driven story. The end of the plot will shock you and almost make you laugh out loud.
One of the things keeping this book from being five stars is one unnecessary chase scene at the end.
But all in all, this is Chris Fabry's life work, and his writing career might should end with this masterpiece.