A ride-share driver might make much more than her usual fare in this humorous Chicago-based thriller.
Paula Wilson is an artist by training and a Drive Away Car ride-share driver by necessity. One night, she picks up a fare who calls himself “Lotti,” whom she fails to recognize as Grammy Award–winning pop singer Ryan Hooks. Paula sees that he’s gone to meet a beautiful woman, and when she spots his face on TV the next day and realizes who she'd had in her car, she also realizes he must be cheating on his jealous wife. Paula sees an opportunity to help her husband, Keith, who is wheelchair-bound because of an auto accident. Paula had found a phone on the car’s back seat, and she now realizes it belongs to Ryan. An operation that might allow Keith to walk again would cost $180,000 that they don’t have. Paula “would do whatever it took” to help Keith get back on his feet, but she is an honest woman in her own mind: When she finds a passenger’s left-behind phone she usually waits two weeks to see if it’s claimed before selling it online. Not with Hooks, though, because she knows his secret. She meets him backstage at a concert and lets him know she has his phone and that maybe he will give her a $180,000 “reward.” “The telephone and my silence” might be coercion, she tells herself, but “Hell, I’d call it a suggestion.” She wants the reader to know she’s a good person, that she only lies “about the tiny, unimportant things,” such as her identity when she meets Hooks’ secret lover, Emma Bentley, at a dog park. Emma invites her—“Chris”—to “a little dinner party,” where Paula gets soused senseless (she really likes her wine) and a woman gets murdered. Detective Claire Puhl leads the homicide investigation and tries to decide how seriously to take Paula.
A light story with nice twists and imperfect but strong female characters.