The idea behind After Visiting Friends
is compelling: Hainey, the son of a newspaper man and a journalist himself, launches an investigation into the circumstances of his father's death after noticing inconsistencies in the story.
He talks to surviving relatives, friends of the family, and his father's coworkers, and takes a few trips to flesh out the story. While describing the steps he took to find out more about his father's death, he also recounts personal memories and family history.
The secrets he uncovers throughout his journey to find the truth are not spy novel material, and the investigation is a low-key, meandering affair, but the story overall is an interesting window into the sixties- and seventies-era newspaper world, and it's a good read.
Hainey does have a style that takes a little while to get used to -- short bursts of words, fragments, brief sentences tapped out between longer sentences -- so After Visiting Friends
was a slow starter for me. A few chapters in, I warmed up to it, and once that happened, I couldn't put the book down.