Basically the plot of this book is: there's a lot of crazy stuff going on in this town, and let's see how much this 13-year-old kid and jaded detective can stir up before we come to some kind of satisfactory resolution. In this town, every kid is scrappy and hates his dad, the library still uses a card catalog, and every woman is messed up somehow. Oh, and this town has something like half a dozen "bad" parts of town, one guy owns 90% of all the property in the place, and people keep leaving their keys with the 13-year-old who has a penchant for grand theft auto.
Seriously. I just could not get into this book. There was nothing that made me feel for the characters, or even feel like I knew what they were going to do next. There were so many twists that I felt like the climax of the book happened a third of the way in and the rest of it was just resolution. Obviously the writer wanted to start with the lowest point of the book. You got an alcoholic preteen, a warped mama on drugs, an escaped convict, a murder, and a kidnapped twin sister. Everyone then spends the rest of the book scrambling their way out of the holes they've dug for themselves. Not very convincingly, for that matter.
There were some good parts, which is why it's not getting one star. I enjoyed the frantic pace of some of the takedowns the cops did in the process of investigating the ten billion different crimes that pop up in this book. And some of the twists were well-done; the author had me suspecting somebody innocent, and being blindsided by other characters' actions. A bit of the description is well-done, though most of the time it felt heavy-handed and obvious. Unfortunately the flaws well-overtook the positives in this one.