The narrative takes place in Mississippi in the late 1970s, but the central event occurs twelve years earlier, when nine-year-old Robin Dufresnes is found hanging from a tree in his own back yard. Robin's murder, which is never solved, virtually destroys his family. Years later, twelve-year-old Harriet Dufresnes -- who was an infant when Robin died and who is haunted by images of the brother she never knew -- sets out to locate his killer.
Harriet's quest becomes a meditation on grief, obsession, and revenge. When Harriet identifies a likely suspect -- Danny Ratliffe, a drug-addled member of an impoverished redneck family -- she pursues him with a remorseless, sometimes appalling, single-mindedness. As the long, leisurely narrative unfolds, Tartt presents a cumulatively compelling portrait of a rural Southern community and of two deeply damaged families -- the Dufresnes and the Ratliffes -- whose destinies become intertwined in unpredictable ways.
Original title: The Little Friend
Genre: Fiction→ General Fiction