Click Here To Purchase Favorite Sons: A Novel

Author: Robin Yocum

Publisher:  Arcade Publishing
ISBN: 978-1-61145-004-0

One of the most tried and true axioms of fiction writing is “write about what you know.” In
Favorite Sons, author Robin Yocum does just that with stellar results. The story drew me in from the start and never faltered in its credibility while sifting through topics of justice , revenge, corruption, and self realization.

The convincing stories, stated as facts, and the well-drawn characters are what immersed me in the book. I think that his experience as a journalist works in Yocum’s favor in that his writing is clear and concise, and although descriptive, not in a way that made me think of flowery prose. He makes every word count while still achieving a crispness that is the hallmark of good journalists.

setting for the action is the author’s native east Ohio, and as a fellow Buckeye, I can attest to his meticulous attention to creating the scenery accurately. Anyone who hasn’t driven through that part of the state will find Yocum’s descriptions of the area to be colorful, and anyone who has traveled the routes he maps out will know exactly where the characters are headed. The story’s plot is familiar territory to the former reporter for the
Columbus Dispatch. Yocum’s experience on the crime beat lends an authenticity to the procedural aspects. I wondered if some of the elements in the story line and the anecdotal cases he refers to reflected a composite of those he investigated during his newspaper career, as some of the characters resembled headliners from the past.  But, given that the stories involve murder, depravity, and politicians, they might be written from any time or place.

The premise of
Favorite Sons may sound like a stock setup: four young friends are involved in covering up an accidental death that in later years threatens to be their downfall. But where Yocum has enhanced the plot is in his skillful characterization, especially that of the narrator, Hutch Van Buren. We see how his trajectory through life has been influenced by the secret he kept. Where the author succeeds best is in not surprising the reader by Van Buren’s actions and attitudes, even after the passage of 30-plus years. Likewise, what Yocum exposes about the others who were complicit rings true because of the solid foundation he builds in making his characters three-dimensional.

It’s rare to find a book that doesn’t fail on some level, but this is one I read without a hint of disappointment.  

Click Here To Purchase Favorite Sons: A Novel