And now for something completely Hitchcockian from the chronicler of Harry Bosch (City of Bones, p. 205, etc.): a wrong number that spins into a full-court press against the beleaguered hero’s liberty and life.
Henry Pierce, the workaholic chemist who’s about to take his company, Amedeo Technologies, into the stratosphere with a molecular-based computing technology he’s demonstrating to a big backer, hates the apartment he had to find when he was dumped by his fiancée, Amedeo’s ex–intelligence officer Nicole James. What he hates most is the phone number, formerly the property of Lilly Quinlan, an escort whose Internet photo is so dazzling that Henry’s phone is ringing off the hook with calls for her. Most guys would just get the number changed and move on, but Henry, who improbably can’t bother to e-mail all those contacts he already gave the number to, wants Lilly to take it off the L.A. Darling Web page instead—and then, when his best efforts don’t succeed in turning her up, wants to find out why she’s dropped out of sight. Spurred on by his childhood failure to rescue the prostitute sister who fell victim to a serial killer, he puts so many questions to so many unwilling associates of Lilly’s that it’s obvious he’s stepping on some serious toes. As it happens, the police and the bad guys converge on him at exactly the same time, squeezing him into the classic can’t-trust-anyone pose perfectly suited to his combination of brains and paranoia, until even the light switches at his office stop responding to his voice. Has he stepped into somebody else’s nightmare, or has he been the real target all along?
Connelly diabolically teases readers with bits of exposition while scaring the hell out of them in the most accomplished slice of Hitchcock since the Master’s heyday. The result is a tour de force of nerve-shredding suspense.