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by David Ambrose

Pub Date: Feb. 14th, 1994
ISBN: 0-312-10497-9
Publisher: St. Martin's

 Hypnotic quantum-physics debut, from screenwriter Ambrose, that draws the reader into fabulous parallel worlds a bit like those of Ghost and the post-trauma of Fearless. Well-to-do Connecticut publisher Rick Hamilton finds himself beset by strange feelings and at an important business meeting sketches pictures of his wife Anne in a horrible accident. He dashes out of the meeting but is too late to save Anne, who dies in her car while looking at him (their boy Charlie lives). Whammo, the force of this event lifts Rick into the body of real-estate man Richard Hamilton: his wife is still alive in the car and he's helping her out of it. But meanwhile Charlie has disappeared--in this parallel world there is no Charlie, despite Rick/Richard's cries for him. Richard to Rick is Rick, and when he confesses as much to Anne in bed, she has him committed, where his troubles multiply. For one thing, he's rather disgusted with Richard's pouchy, slouching body (Rick had worked out thrice weekly) and Richard's much slower mind. In fact, Rick has little control over Richard's body and occupies only a room in his mind quite divorced from Richard's sensory system. And Richard doesn't know Rick is there. The duo land under the care of blind psychotherapist Emma J. Todd, who takes ``Richard'' into hypnosis. Rick, however, still alert, speaks for Richard and persuades Emma that he, Rick, doesn't exist. Once let out of the hospital, Rick begins awakening Richard to his state as host of Rick by letting Richard know that the new Anne is unfaithful...and the switches go on until the last page. Great suspense, with wonderful visual problems for a movie. (First printing of 13,000; film rights to HBO)