When Eliza Fontaine awakens in the hospital, her family tells her she’s survived yet another attempt at suicide by drowning. The trouble is, Eliza knows she was pushed. But by whom?
Sure, Eliza has tried four times before to drown herself—knowing full well that she cannot swim—but her life is looking up now. After years of hospitalizations recovering from surgeries to remove a brain tumor, she still has some lost memories, but she’s channeled her creative energies into writing a book inspired by her ordeal. Entitled The Dots, the book tells the story of a young girl, Dot, whose glamorous Aunt Dorothy shepherds her through repeated hospitalizations for cancer and inexplicable seizures. Snapped up by a publisher, The Dots is sure to be a blockbuster. So why would Eliza check into a posh hotel, get drunk, and then hurl herself into the pool? Despite her family’s efforts to secure inpatient psychiatric treatment for her, Eliza has other plans and begins to investigate. Desmond, the quirky assistant marketer for LA Comic-Con who rescued her, becomes her sidekick as she chases down a suspicious ex-boyfriend, evasive bartenders, and mysterious villains. Events from Eliza’s and Dot’s lives begin to parallel each other; Shepard amplifies the confusion by alternating chapters from Eliza’s and Dot’s perspectives. As the hunt continues, Eliza’s memories begin to collide with Dot’s, and the search for her assailant becomes a journey into her own past. Bestselling author Shepard (The Amateurs: Follow Me, 2017, etc.), of Pretty Little Liars fame, pays close attention to cinematic details, practically projecting Eliza’s descent into personal nightmare, where she cannot be certain of her own memories, onto a silver screen: Scenes are carefully framed, and a soundtrack even bubbles along.
A delicious Southern California noir riddled with muddled identities and family secrets.