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A virtual sleepwalker for seven years wakes to a murderous reality.

As a ward of the state, Paul Hardy has been living with a dozen other physically or emotionally impaired adults. Paul Hardy isn’t his real name, of course, but simply the identity given him for the sake of bureaucratic convenience. Who he is, or was, is a mystery, largely because he’s “never been known to utter so much as a syllable.” Clearly, though, whatever happened to him must have been horrendous, leaving him with a psyche as wrecked as his face. Now, ironically, a return bout with big-time trauma sets him on the path to self-discovery. Hospitalized after being hit by a car, he ends up getting enough plastic surgery to furnish him with a new face along with a new set of synapses. And now he remembers a name: Wesley Allen Howard. Is it his? He can’t be certain, but the name has certainly resonated among others, generating intense and homicidal interest in some scary circles. Suddenly, ill-intentioned men arise from a variety of alphabet agencies, and if he wants to stay alive, the ex-Paul Hardy had better find out why in a hurry.

Yes, it’s the old amnesia gimmick, but Ford (Blown Away, 2007, etc.) is such an ingratiating storyteller that you may well find yourself beguiled.

Pub Date: Feb. 5th, 2008
ISBN: 978-0-06-087442-1
Page count: 352pp
Publisher: Morrow/HarperCollins
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15th, 2007


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