"More than any form of injury or violent death, there's something uniquely haunting, and familiar, about the vehicular accident in our society. Car accidents are by far the most commonplace manner of premature death in America, and it's rare to find someone who hasn't been affected by one. It's surprising, then, that so little has been written about it in American fiction... This has changed with the appearance of a remarkable new novel, The Reconstructionist."
—The Denver Post
"You wouldn't think that earning a pair of mechanical engineering degrees would lend itself to fine literature, but Nick Arvin is an exception: His thoughtful, offbeat, original sophomore novel, The Reconstructionist, has a caliber as unexpected as its author's. Antihero Ellis Barstow, whose half brother Christopher died young in a car crash, makes his living by conducting auto accident postmortems. He also loves his boss's wife, who -- not coincidentally -- was Christopher's high school girlfriend. It sounds complicated, but in the end all these likably flawed people are just trying to answer the same two questions: What happened? And whose fault was it?"
—Amazon Best Book of the Month Selection
"Nick Arvin has written a book with a heart like a vise. The detectives here are engineers, the crimes are traffic accidents, and the law is the law of physics. But somehow--don't ask me how, I was too busy turning the pages--The Reconstructionist becomes a contemplation of the broadest questions of life: How do we love one another? How do we survive the accidents of our lives? Or is it fate? Nick Arvin is an immensely gifted writer, and he has given us a thrilling, soulful book."
—David Wroblewski, author of The Story of Edgar Sawtelle
"Arvin's impressive second novel...is suffused with sharp turns and minute, telling details that add up to a riveting consideration of risk and responsibility."
"With precision prose, The Reconstructionist hurtles the reader at breakneck pace through a story of love and the collision physics of auto crashes.... A masterpiece of modern fiction."
—Cortright McMeel, author of Short
"Arvin weaves vivid detail with gritty, poetic prose to present a gripping and somber vision of what it takes to pick up the pieces and rebuild after utter devastation."
Click here to see video recreations of some of the crashes that formed the basis of The Reconstructionist.