According to Clark’s unique take on identity theft, the thief doesn’t just want to steal your money but to ruin your credibility, snatch your son and take your life.
Interior designer Alexandra Moreland’s son disappeared from his stroller two years ago while Tiffany Shields, the babysitter Zan had hurriedly arranged to watch him, dozed nearby. Matthew’s trail has long gone cold until his fifth birthday, when a tabloid newspaper publishes a photograph of Zan removing him from his stroller. In a flash, all the friends who’ve stood by her for the past two years turn on her. Her ex, Ted Carpenter, the publicist she’d split up with before she ever knew she was pregnant, winds up their dinner at the Four Seasons by accusing her of kidnapping his son. Architect Kevin Wilson, a prospective client who’s been about to choose her designs over those of her former boss Bartley Longe, begins to waver. Bartley, who never forgave Zan for leaving his shop to set up her own, spews venom into NYPD ears. So does Tiffany, frantic to take this opportunity to defend herself against all the innuendo she’s endured. Even Zan’s friends Alvirah and Willy Meehan, long familiar to the Clark faithful (The Lottery Winner, 1994, etc.), speculate whether she could have stolen Matthew during one of her mysterious blackouts. Only her loyal assistant, Josh Green, sticks by her side, and even he wonders who ordered the bolts of fabric that have begun to arrive at their office even though she swears she didn’t order them. Meanwhile, Toby Grissom, who hasn’t long to live, flies in from Texas to search for his daughter, Brittany La Monte, an aspiring actress and makeup expert who came to New York to make her fortune but disappeared shortly before Matthew.
Fans will bite their nails to the quick while they wait for all the characters who know bits and pieces of the story to pool their knowledge before the malefactor can strike again. Experts on identity theft will marvel that no matter what raw material goes into the Clark hopper, it all comes out looking much the same.