For those of you who wish to catch up to speed on what is going on in the increasingly complex story.
[Latest Summary Update: Chapters 1-10]
Current Characters of Significance
- Carl Marlowe: The twenty-seven year old narrator of this story, Carl is a foul-mouthed British man who spends his days traveling city to city and state to state running from the law. He says that everywhere he goes, people recognize his name and a supposed crime he has committed, although it is revealed that despite all of this crimes, he has actually done little more than “robbing Quick Marts.” He’s arrogant, rude, and borderline unlikeable, but there is a sense that something from his mysterious past - perhaps the woman he once loved named Christina - has had something to do with shaping his cynical outlook. While his past still remains mostly a mystery, it’s revealed that he has a law degree and speaks Italian, French, and Hebrew. Carl’s current whereabouts are Alaska, where after traveling in an ‘88 Mercury Cougar alongside Ed Bunting, he ends up at the remote cottage of John Odette White, where Carl once spent a drug-fueled summer with Christina. Ed reveals that there are some dangerous and angry men after Carl. Upon entering the cottage, an old acquaintance named Johnny is dead on the floor from gunshots. Carl and Ed come upon another person from Carl’s past named Marco, who is lying in a corner and shot in the shoulder. The two put him in the backseat of the car, where he passes out, and we are left with Carl crying in the driver’s seat, Ed beside him just staring sadly. While we don’t know how Carl ended up in the situation exactly, he reveals in the beginning of the story that in three weeks, he is going to end up in Los Angeles, tied to a chair and being guarded by an intimidating Colombian thug.
- Ed Bunting: He is the mysterious man with an eye-patch and mullet who saved Carl from a vicious attack in a rundown Alaskan bar. He’s Carl’s self-described “alpha.” Ed knows everything about him, from the names of his parents to his university class ranking at law school. After “saving” him, Carl leads him to the drug-filled cottage of John Odette White, where Ed reveals that he works for an agency that covers identity theft and has been tracking the many criminals who have been using the pseudonym of Carl Marlowe, particularly John Odette White who was hoping to pin all of his criminal deeds on the real Carl. When Carl asks Ed why he would help him, Ed reveals that he promised someone that he would look out for Carl, although that person remains a mystery.
- Christina: First mentioned by Carl as he drifted into deep thought and as a warped-version of herself in one of Carl’s dreams, we know little about her besides that she was there when he began his life of crime in the UK and they escaped to the U.S. together, before she ditched him one day while they were in Wisconsin. It’s apparent that he had some sort of strong feelings for her at one point, but he says that he has plenty of reasons to hate her. In his own dream, she reminds Carl that despite his hate for her, she had no choice but to leave him. Why that is remains a mystery. The story shifts to a third-person limited perspective of Christina, where it is revealed that she has “visions,” and in hers, she sees Carl and Ed, and she is arguing with herself whether she should track down Carl to help this man she truly did once love. Christina, despite her apparent emotional strength, has had her own amount of tragedy in her life, including the brutal murder of her mother - the “vision” of which she carries with her every day. It was meeting Carl that brought her out of the spiraling depression associated with this. It is still unclear exactly how she is involved in all of the mayhem Carl now finds himself in though.
- Marco Gideon: We don’t know much about him, besides that he and Carl had spent much of that drug-fueled summer together, and that he was the dead John’s “right hand man” or perhaps even lover. Carl and Ed find him with a bullet wound at the cottage and put him in the backseat of their car, where he passes out. Christina may or may not have had an intimate relationship with Marco during that summer.
- John “Johnny” Odette White: Found dead in his cottage by Carl and Ed, Johnny had once taken Carl and Christina in for a summer, which was filled with drugs, sex, and loud music. During that summer, Carl had told him about how he kept getting pinned for crimes that he did not commit, giving John the idea to do the same thing - pin crimes on Carl. It is unclear exactly what crimes Johnny had pinned on Carl or how Johnny’s partner Marco was involved, but it has to do with drugs or chemicals and the people involved want Carl’s head.
- Rebecca White: She is Johnny’s sister who lived at the cabin with Johnny and Marco, but was nowhere to be found when Carl and Ed stumbled upon Marco.