This is a brilliant collection of characters. They have rich internal dialogues entirely at odds with the words that spouts from their lips. The collection is bookended by a pair of powerful stories. One is a Jewish lawyer (Vilnius through Dublin through Brooklyn to the Upper East Side) whose downfall is attributable to the sins of his (apostate) son. This story alternates between the internal monologue of the lawyer and the view of the team of detectives assigned to investigate his murder. It raises questions of what constitutes justice. The second bookend is the story of an elderly Maryknoll nun, who served in South America. She was brutalized and raped there, thirty-seven years before the story unfolds. She sees her rightwing attacker/rapist on a news program, which depicts him as a leftist peacemaker. She travels to London to confront him, but what she really confronts is her capacity for for forgiveness. In the author note, McCann oddly explicitly connects these stories to his own experience as a victim of crime; the connection robs the stories of their inventiveness and, without taking anything from McCann, he would have been better off divorcing his fiction from his real life.