In Silvers’ debut psychological thriller, Jack Logan loses his ethereal, pregnant wife in a car accident but soon discovers that she had more secrets than he ever suspected.
Like most stereotypical stock-trader characters, Jack Logan obsesses over work, consequently neglecting his loved ones, especially his wife, Susan, who’s expecting their first child. When Jack fails to drive Susan to the obstetrician’s office in New York City, she attempts to conquer her fear of driving—only to crash and perish in an accident for which Jack suffers crushing guilt. Silvers triumphs over otherwise mediocre prose to illuminate the particularities of Jack’s grief, as when his obsessive-compulsive tics take on unusual forms, like buying cans of soup he intends to throw away to meet his daily discard quota. Jack’s characterization stays strong, and he never forgets the hand sanitizer in his pocket. A few months after Susan’s death, while still in deep mourning, Jack sees a postcard for a missing girl, a 15-year-old who looks impossibly like Susan. From Susan’s half sister, Jack learns that, in college, Susan gave up an infant for adoption. To assuage his guilt, he spends the rest of the novel desperately seeking the missing Alyson. The plot’s big picture may not surprise most readers, particularly avid thriller fans, but the author makes up for a scarcity of surprise with sharp details and well-drawn character tropes, from a tough yet sympathetic private investigator to Alyson’s loathsome biological father. Sharp readers may be able to unravel the plot’s path in the first 20 pages or so, but the story remains consistently readable and surprisingly affecting.
Comes up short as a thriller but succeeds as a moving portrait of a husband’s insatiable grief.