When an ER doctor’s former fiancée is murdered, the blood evidence implicates either him or his long-missing, drug-addict identical twin.
Ben Dafoe knows crime scenes. A consultant for the Seattle police, he has befriended the cops he has helped. But his life has a darker side: Both his former fiancée, the beautiful Emily, and his twin, Aaron, lost their lives to cocaine and meth. Aaron’s body was never found, but the copious blood soaking a torched car has led the police to believe he was the victim of a drug-related homicide. Emily’s murder, a vicious stabbing death alongside that of a known dealer, seems to imply another drug killing. While Ben is saddened, he’s not completely surprised: Emily had claimed to be clean, but had a history of relapsing. However, when a midnight telephone caller whispers to Ben that his blood will be found at the scene, the picture becomes more complicated. Only his dead twin would have his exact DNA. So is Ben being framed? Or could his missing brother be alive? Because Ben knows how investigations proceed, it almost seems reasonable that he lights out to Vancouver to track down the source of the mysterious calls, the killer and possibly the brother he had thought long gone. With his background as an emergency-room physician, Kalla (Rage Therapy, 2006, etc.) gets the details right. The addled sleeplessness endemic to ER staff, the adrenaline rush of saving—or losing—a life and the split-second decisions that become commonplace all play into his hero’s questionable acts. Add in several romantic complications, tying together Emily’s past and the straying husband of Ben’s sexy colleague, Alex, and Kalla has the ingredients for a heated thriller. Flashbacks to Ben’s final encounter with Emily provide more clues, and despite the limitations of the occasionally clunky first-person narration, this thriller bounces along at a good pace.
Solid details flesh out a nicely complicated plot.