Combining the pace of a detective story with the bold prose of a master storyteller, North is both an adventure and a pilgrimage. Alone and haunted by memories of his dead wife and child, Jack--who prowled the backwaters of Girls--returns to upstate New York from the Carolina coast, where he has been working as a security guard. A New York lawyer hires him to find her missing nephew, last seen in the area of Jack's northern hometown. His search gradually uncovers a dark underside of rural life and a cast of dangerous characters. Jack is besieged by memories as he uncovers a brutal crime and finds himself in a turbulent relationship with a treacherous woman. In trying to save another's life, Jack must relive his own; memory, obsession, and reality fuse; and Jack discovers the truth of Faulkner's observation that "the past is not really past; it's not even over."