A woman searching for a cure to an unfathomable disease accidentally makes a breakthrough that will change the world.
Talented comic book writer Soule’s debut novel (The Oracle Year, 2018) was a serious brain bender, enjoyable as a twisty, well-written paranormal thriller and, more importantly, one of those books you find yourself thinking about days later. So, brace yourself—this book is even more merciless in that regard. Readers won’t feel that they’re on the edges of their seats as much as they’re on a balance beam above a pit of lava while trying to solve a Rubik’s Cube. First things first: In the present day, brilliant scientist Gabby White is independently working on a cure for Alzheimer’s in her barn in Ann Arbor, Michigan. One jolt of a laser later and she finds that she’s beamed herself into her husband Paul’s body while her own self might just be dead. Whoa, indeed. This would be enough of a launch pad for a techno-thriller by itself but then Soule jumps ahead a quarter-century to a near future where Gabby’s breakthrough, now branded the “flash,” has not only transformed society for well-meaning citizens, but also for a deeply perverted underground, the “darkshare,” that rents out people’s bodies for a variety of deviant purposes. We’re introduced to Annami, a spy who needs to put together $1 million or so in a month in order to win an auction to occupy one of the world’s biggest celebrities, for her own secretive purposes. There are plenty of villains here as well, among them Sara Kring, Gabby’s lawyer, who sells her out, and Annami’s body-jumping nemesis known only as “Bleeder.” Like the tick-tock of a metronome, Soule oscillates between Gabby’s dilemma and Annami’s mission until we reach an unexpected but satisfying convergence between the two.
An imaginative, time-fragmented thriller about the bitter and potentially deadly consequences of body-snatching.