Who Is Floyd Stearn? is a mystery as engrossing as any page-turner you could find on a bookshelf. Michael is born into a New York Jewish family. The family is split in an acrimonious divorce. Floyd loses custody of his children, and after being delivered to his mother at age 7, Michael never sees his father again. Raynor (who has taken his stepfather's surname) is informed of his father's death several years after the fact.
The man Raynor has become has been influenced by a youth spent in the absence of his natural father. The mystery of who his father was is a gap Michael is compelled to fill. The search for the missing paternal root leads him to find his still-living paternal grandmother, who gives quite a different picture of who Floyd was than does Michael's bitter, vindictive mother.