A Common Loss
by Kirsten Tranter
Fourth Estate, $29.99 pb, 360 pp, 9780732290825
It begins with a car accident. Five friends are returning to college after a night of drinking. The driver, Cameron, hits a deer and overturns the vehicle. When the police and ambulance arrive, Dylan, who has drunk the least, claims to have been at the wheel. The others – Elliot, who narrates the story, Tallis, Brian, and especially Cameron – let him assume responsibility. It is, more or less, what Dylan does, what his role in the group is: a mediator, a defuser of tension, a solver of problems. Ten years later, shortly after he is killed in a traffic accident, the details of that night, and other similar instances of Dylan’s particular kind of timely assistance, will resurface as the four gather for their annual reunion in Las Vegas.