The creator of dog-loving attorney Andy Carpenter (Dog Tags, 2010, etc.) serves up another stand-alone with an absolutely irresistible hook.
Hours after freelance journalist Richard Kilmer proposes to his girlfriend Jennifer Ryan in her parents’ home in Ardmore, N.Y., a freak storm on the road throws her out of his wrecked car and into thin air. It’s bad enough that the local cops can find no trace of his fiancée. Worse, there’s no sign that she ever existed. The Ardmore house looks completely different; Jen’s mother, who maintains that her husband and daughter died 20 years ago, denies ever having met Richard; even his Manhattan buddies tell him he must have imagined the woman he’s certain he introduced to them. “What you’re doing is remembering stuff that never happened,” one of them tells him. A series of magazine articles that make Richard, if not exactly a hero, certainly a well-known crackpot, underwrite his inquiries into Sean Lassiter, the biochemical manufacturer he gradually becomes convinced is behind his troubles. With the help of a bulldog private eye, a sympathetic psychotherapist and a young woman who announces that she’s the twin sister of his vanished fiancée, Richard follows the trail from his own travails to a shady neurological clinic and an international conspiracy.
As in Down to the Wire (2010), the explanation behind the hero’s ordeal is both less interesting and less plausible than the nightmare itself. But no one who picks up this greased-lightning account will rest till it’s finished.