There were several elements in this book that seemed formulaic, such as the tall, strapping, silent and intimidating PI/cop; the open, friendly, easily-imperiled sidekick brought along to encourage witnesses to open up. There were enough fresh, new, fascinating things thrown in here that it never felt like a story I'd read before, in spite of the familiar elements.
Tom's ability is the most unique of these new elements, and I thoroughly enjoyed the passages where I got to see him using his ability. The ability itself is unique, and its inclusion in a story of this genre only made it all the more interesting.
The past relationship between Tom and Phil was also unique and fascinating. The ways both of them dealt with what had happened, and had been dealing with it over the years since, intrigued me. I'd anticipated Tom's challenges overcoming having been bullied, and of course the physical repercussions of the accident. It was interesting, though, how he turned out to be not quite so reliable when it came to what he'd admit to himself (and thus to the reader) about what he was still dealing with. Having Phil tell him he still limps was just as shocking and heart-wrenching for me as I'm sure it was for Tom.
What I'd not anticipated so much was how much everything that had happened had been affecting Phil. The little hints he'd drop about how Tom hadn't changed at all, and how he'd never answer Tom's questions about why he'd moved back clued me in that there was a lot that Phil was hiding behind his stoic, tough-guy demeanor.
The scene where Tom finds the photos and clippings that Phil's been keeping, and the way both of them completely misunderstand where the other is coming from was fantastically well done. I was so invested in them by that point that I wanted to strangle them both and just force them to TALK to each other instead of to assume things and make unilateral decisions without asking the other's input.
The mystery was intriguing, but not nearly as much so as the various characters we got to meet along the way. It was interesting how we got to meet and get to know all of these people through Tom's eyes, but it took Phil to let us really get to know Tom. I thought that was beautifully well done also.
I want to second all of the other reviewers who've said they hope this becomes just the first book in a series. I'd love to see more of Tom and Phil and have a more solid conviction that the two of them are really going to be okay. I don't quite feel like I had that at the end of this.