Nickel's not like other kids: He lives alone in a rented two-bedroom house he pays for with money from his private investigation business, online perv extortions, and by selling marijuana he's growing between the corn rows in the backyard. He understands that kids are mostly invisible to adults - unless there's a reason to pay attention to them (Shouldn't he be in school? Why is a kid that young doing the grocery shopping? What's he in such a hurry for?). He's gotten good at "average kid" camouflage.
Nickel is a strange mix of 12 year old and adult, and that's a major appeal of this book: the discord these two opposite characteristics creates for the reader. Another major appeal is that Davis has given this kid a classic crime noir setup: the solitary PI, the attractive dame, the shadowy backstory, and the colorful cast of characters (good and bad). It's familiar, yet totally unique.
I picked up this book based on a recommendation from library comic Unshelved, and I was certainly not disappointed. I even read a bit of it aloud to my fiction-hating husband, who thoroughly enjoyed it and asked for more!
I loved this book. I can see this character taking off into a series (this is Davis' debut novel), and I'd definitely read more. Nickel's horrific backstory is still a bit vague (it's meted out in tiny bits and hints), and there's plenty of room for growth.