The Dig

Counterpoint. Mar. 2023. 288p. ISBN 9781640096042. $27. THRILLER
It’s 1993. In a bombed-out building in Sarajevo, three-year-old Andela and six-year-old Mujo cower near their dead mother. American brothers find them and take them back to Minnesota. One adopts them but disappears. The other raises them, a tyrant who drives the boy, Paul now, to flee at 14. The girl, now Toni, leaves for Harvard after high school vowing never to return, but in 2014, she’s back as a newly hired lawyer at the hottest firm in the Twin Cities. She’s put her past behind her, the traumatic first years, humiliations in high school, and her uncle’s domineering ways, but it comes back to bite her. Paul’s back too, organizing Somali refugees against the uncle, who plans to tear down their settlement to build a shopping mall. A protest goes sour, and Paul’s on the run. Toni confronts problems with her job, uncle, the missing Paul, and a boyfriend she wants to forget. The novel is slow in buildup, with many flashbacks, and the denouement is deflating. A few issues raised along the way are left unresolved.
VERDICT Burt’s (My Father Married Your Mother) humdrum mystery never builds up enough steam to keep readers involved.
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