By Dan DeWeese, Harper Perennial, 336 pages

“”That’s why your belief that this is all a concidence doesn’t really hold. You’ve been a bank manager in this city for the last twenty-five years, and he’s been robbing banks around here for the last twenty-five years, so it’s not really a concidence that he robbed you a second time. You two are in the same business. And that’s pretty much the opposite of a coincidence.” He closed the folder. “But statistical likelihoods are just my personal interest. What was it that was on your mind?””

On the morning of her wedding, Miranda can’t be found, slips away from the pre-wedding jitters and isolates herself from the man who will be walking her down the aisle. Her father, Paul, tries to navigate the murky waters surrounding the big event in Dan DeWeese’s debut novel You Don’t Love This Man. To complicate matters, the bank branch Paul is in charge of, is robbed the morning of the nuptials. And ironically, the M.O. of the robbery reminds Paul of a day 25 years ago, when he was robbed and hit on the head in the same bank, different branch.

Combined, these plots lead Paul on a journey, as he contemplates his new son-in-law, his failed relationship with his ex-wife, and the turmoil of handing over a daughter on her wedding day.

At times, I struggled to understand the connection between the duo plotlines, almost like they were thrown together for the sake of a full-length novel. Yet, the two work to show Paul from the last bank robbery and how situations make him the person he is today: a cynical, humorous, loyal fool who sometimes fails to show his true emotions.

You Don’t Love This Man provides a character sketch in 336 pages, a glimpse of a man who watches from the outskirts as life marches past.

LuAnn Schindler