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NOTHING CAN ERASE YOU

A finely wrought nightmare that will strike a chord for every parent who’s been troubled by dreams of losing a child.

Ten years after her son vanishes on his 10th birthday, a family physician encounters him anew—and he hasn’t aged a day.

No one but Dr. Maddi Libéri believes that Tom Fontaine is really Esteban Libéri, who of course would be 20 by now. Everyone else thinks the body that was recovered from the sea a month after Esteban disappeared from the Normandy beach where his single mother had taken him to swim was his. But the harder Maddi, who’s always resisted the idea that her son is dead, looks at Tom, the more convincing she finds the evidence that he’s Esteban’s reincarnation. The first time she spots him, he’s wearing an indigo swimsuit identical to the one Esteban was wearing on his birthday. Like Esteban, he speaks Basque, even though no one has ever taught it to him. And he has a birthmark identical to Esteban’s in exactly the same place. So after Maddi identifies his pregnant mother as Amandine Fontaine, she follows her to the Auvergne village of Murol and sets up shop as the town’s only doctor, a position that guarantees she’ll be seeing more of both mother and son. The gradual resolution of the mystery, which Bussi teases with strong hints of the supernatural, turns out to be entirely logical—“There is one coincidence in this story. Just one!” the architect of Maddi’s troubles announces during the big reveal—though more than a little far-fetched. But then, what did you expect from such an outrageous premise?

A finely wrought nightmare that will strike a chord for every parent who’s been troubled by dreams of losing a child.

Pub Date: June 4, 2024

ISBN: 9781662509049

Page Count: 464

Publisher: Amazon Crossing

Review Posted Online: April 5, 2024

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 2024

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THE HOUSE ACROSS THE LAKE

A weird, wild ride.

Celebrity scandal and a haunted lake drive the narrative in this bestselling author’s latest serving of subtly ironic suspense.

Sager’s debut, Final Girls (2017), was fun and beautifully crafted. His most recent novels—Home Before Dark (2020) and Survive the Night (2021) —have been fun and a bit rickety. His new novel fits that mold. Narrator Casey Fletcher grew up watching her mother dazzle audiences, and then she became an actor herself. While she never achieves the “America’s sweetheart” status her mother enjoyed, Casey makes a career out of bit parts in movies and on TV and meatier parts onstage. Then the death of her husband sends her into an alcoholic spiral that ends with her getting fired from a Broadway play. When paparazzi document her substance abuse, her mother exiles her to the family retreat in Vermont. Casey has a dry, droll perspective that persists until circumstances overwhelm her, and if you’re getting a Carrie Fisher vibe from Casey Fletcher, that is almost certainly not an accident. Once in Vermont, she passes the time drinking bourbon and watching the former supermodel and the tech mogul who live across the lake through a pair of binoculars. Casey befriends Katherine Royce after rescuing her when she almost drowns and soon concludes that all is not well in Katherine and Tom’s marriage. Then Katherine disappears….It would be unfair to say too much about what happens next, but creepy coincidences start piling up, and eventually, Casey has to face the possibility that maybe some of the eerie legends about Lake Greene might have some truth to them. Sager certainly delivers a lot of twists, and he ventures into what is, for him, new territory. Are there some things that don’t quite add up at the end? Maybe, but asking that question does nothing but spoil a highly entertaining read.

A weird, wild ride.

Pub Date: June 21, 2022

ISBN: 978-0-593-18319-9

Page Count: 368

Publisher: Dutton

Review Posted Online: March 29, 2022

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 2022

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NONE OF THIS IS TRUE

It's hard to read but hard to look away from.

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  • New York Times Bestseller

When two women who share a birthday meet, a journalist becomes the subject of her own true-crime mystery.

On their 45th birthdays, Josie Fair and Alix Summer meet at a pub and discover they were born not only on the same day, but in the same hospital. Alix is a successful journalist, and Josie convinces Alix that her story is worth telling: Josie met her husband when she was 13 and he was 40. “I can see that maybe I was being used, that maybe I was even being groomed?” she confesses to Alix. “But that feeling of being powerful, right at the start, when I was still in control. I miss that sometimes. I really do. And what I’d like, more than anything, is to get it back.” From this premise Alix creates a Netflix series, Hi! I’m Your Birthday Twin! which investigates Josie’s life as she reconciles what happened to her as a teen and seeks a new path. With the story unfinished, the narrative unfolds in the present tense, with prose that jingles like song lyrics: “He turns to see if the girl is behind him, and sees her wishy-washy, wavy-wavy, in double vision through the glass windows of the hotel.” Alix is both intrigued and repulsed by Josie, but she initially gives her the benefit of the doubt. After all, Alix’s husband, Nathan, has a drinking problem, and Alix knows what it’s like to be reluctant to leave a bad situation. But Josie seems more interested in being part of Alix’s seemingly glamorous life than she is in fixing her own, and when three people end up dead and Alix’s life is turned upside down, the evidence points to Josie—and turns the TV series into a murder mystery. Transcripts from Alix’s interviews alternate with the narrative, offering increasingly varied perspectives on Josie’s story as told by her neighbors, friends, and family members. With so many versions of events, the ending shatters, leaving readers to decide whose is the truth.

It's hard to read but hard to look away from.

Pub Date: Aug. 8, 2023

ISBN: 9781982179007

Page Count: 384

Publisher: Atria

Review Posted Online: May 24, 2023

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2023

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