My opinion of this book changed so frequently as I read it that I honestly am at a loss about how to review it. It's the type of book I generally don't care for, a literary-ish, non-genre thing that wanted to seem more profound and interesting than it really was. The writing often lost its focus, wandering off into the bayous, as it were, providing too much detail, too much reflection. What was the author thinking, for example, when he detailed the differences between New Orleans and Baton Rouge in an ineffective and pages-long effort to explain how two characters were different? It didn't help that the subject matter was rather depressing, and that what I thought would be the story line--the investigation of the crime--almost never surfaced.
But perversely it's also a book with tremendous heart, and there are sections of excellent prose, finely tuned language that turned reading into a private conversation, just me and the protagonist, as he unfolded his deepest secrets. There may not be much other character development, but the narrator is very competently done. And despite the lack of a strong plot throughout, I liked the warmly satisfying ending.
Ultimately, I gave this a middling rating, but if Walsh, in subsequent novels, can pare down his prose and focus on what he does best, he will be a writer worth watching.