Ray is an outcast, who makes his way to town every Tuesday to pick up necessities. It is on one of these trips that he sees a poster from the local animal shelter, advertising a scruffy-looking, one-eyed mutt for adoption. He immediately adopts the dog, who he names one-eye. Ray never went to public school, instead staying at home, reading whatever books he came across. He never knew his mother and his father was often absent. One-eye is not Lassie, but a real dog that attacks other dogs and finds nasty things to roll in. In a way, he becomes Ray's canine therapist, as Ray slowly reveals his tortured past and years of loneliness. This is not a feel-good book, and there is an underlying sense of dread, as if something dark and ominous is just around the corner. The last few pages of Spill Simmer Falter Wither still haunt me a week after I closed the book. A powerful debut.