Allen Wentworth has been alone for a long time. He is a decent, quiet man. He minds his own business. No one expects anything from him, and all he has ever wanted is to be left in peace. A retirement well-earned. It’s just what Allen deserves. After accidentally staying inside his Baltimore rowhouse for over a decade, Allen’s precious isolation is threatened by an unforeseen financial inconvenience. The city he must navigate now is one he knows only through accounts -nonfiction and otherwise- he has seen on TV or read about in the news. Exposed in a city unsafe, where breathing freely is not guaranteed, Allen finds an experience that might shake his understanding of the world, and his place in it.
Chad Dean is as thoughtful as wry here, a combination well suited for tracking and illuminating around his reluctant man down into the crowd, solitary Allen. The care the author takes with Baltimore of contemporary moments touches all the more in light of the errant and loosened retiree who seems intent on making himself ever more so, and deepens that narrative reflex to perceive to retreat, intensely attentively, into what his self-mitigated environment leaves.
-Douglas A. Martin