Fragile begins with Maggie and her husband Jones as they struggle relating to their teenage son, Ricky. Jones, a policeman, has a hard time dealing with Ricky and his goth appearance. The boy he raised has changed before his eyes into someone he doesn't know. While Maggie is more understanding of Ricky, she, too is concerned with her son and his friendship with Charlene, a girl from a troubled home. When Charlene fights with her mother and then is missing, Ricky is a suspect in her disappearance. Fragile follows the investigation into Charlene's whereabouts, while at the same time revealing the role that Jones and Maggie and their friends played in the disspearance of Sarah, a girl from their class, twenty years ago. Set in the Hollows, a small town an hour outside of New York City, the people involved in Charlene's investigation are also a part of Sarah's mysterious disappearance.
This book is more than just a novel of suspense. As the story unfolds, Maggie's feelings about her marriage are revealed, and the different issues that she and Jones face with raising their son are brought to the forefront. Jones' part in Sarah's disappearance and the secrecy surrounding that involvement has developed into a heavy burden for Jones, one that has helped in creating some barriers in his relationship with his wife and son. Unger's development of this aspect of her characters makes this an interesting read as relationships grow and change, are damaged and repaired.
I have only read a few of Unger's books. Fragile makes me want to seek out more of this author's work.