Henry Dodge’s trials and tribulations continue in The Best Laid Plans, but this time around the stakes are much higher! He struggles with the aftereffects of the Summer of 1985 and all that happened in Los Angeles with King George and his minions, including his childhood crush Danny, confessing to murder.
He attempts to stop the storm of memories with drugs, and soon enough becomes addicted to crystal meth, which is provided by his dealer Jeff, who has a duplicitous side that Henry must also contend with.
Of course, his family and their creed of “nothing to see here,” comes into play. Henry discovers a secret about his father and goes-to-toe with him upon his discovery of it. His mother Kate, tired of the homemaker routine, now that her nest is soon to be empty, enters the workforce and lets Henry in on some of the family’s dirty laundry. Meanwhile, John also delivers some surprising news to the family.
All the while, Henry still yearns for a tribe to claim as his own, and finds it in new friends Nina, Derek, and Michael. He is also on the quest for love, with one encounter unraveling the very fabric of his being with an HIV scare.
His love of pop culture reaches new heights, as he still uses the flickering glow of the television and movies, and getting lost in music and making mixtapes, to grant him much-needed solace from his complicated life. It becomes even more complex with several love interests, including a most unlikely candidate.
Like its predecessor The Scheme of Things, this novel has a thriller aspect and the turn-on-a-dime element of drama becoming comedy, pop culture references galore, and nods to the soap operas of the 1980’s. Yet it stands alone as its own contained tale.