Danley (The Tipping Point, 2015) returns to the adventures of novelist Garth Wainwright in this new mystery.
Wainwright is enjoying an Austrian honeymoon with his new wife, lawyer Lacey Kincaid, when the sudden and mysterious death of his brother Bobby forces them to return early to California. While Wainwright drives home from Bobby’s funeral through Topanga Canyon, his car is violently forced off the road by an unexpectedly aggressive Mercedes. The culprits, employees of a shadowy criminal enterprise, abscond with the unconscious Lacey, whose body is thrown from the wreck. Wainwright is left for dead. When he comes to in the hospital, his jaw wired and his bones broken, he has no memory—not of the recent events, and not even of his life before them: “He had no understanding of where he was or why he was there….When a person loses his memory, how can he know that he no longer has what he doesn’t remember he’s lost?” Around the same time, mob boss Marcos Murtagh leaves prison after 13 years. His first order of business is revenge, and he has two targets: Lacey, the lawyer who got him locked up, and Ariel Amriti, “the Assassin,” who murdered Murtagh’s son. As Wainwright attempts to use the clues of his present to reassemble the fragments of his past, his and Murtagh’s stories begin to intertwine. The novelist will be forced to use all his skills and resources to uncover the plot and save his wife, before all that he has lost mentally becomes physically lost as well. Danley is an adept storyteller, and the tale unfurls at a pace that keeps the reader pressing forward. The plot begins in a place of incredulity and moves ever further in that direction, but thankfully the author doesn’t take himself so seriously that the less realistic elements of the story sink it. Genre fans should enjoy this offering, which relishes in its own twists and tropes. Danley has not reinvented the wheel, but he’s produced a functional tale that will likely keep his audience intrigued all the way to the end.
A fast-paced, if occasionally silly, thriller about memory loss and revenge.