The only sign of life for miles is an empty BMW. Inside the expensive car he finds clothes that fit perfectly, shoes for his tattered feet, a Rolex, and an auto registration in the name of Daniel Hayes, resident of Malibu, California.
None of it is familiar. How did he get here? Who is he? Who was he? While he searches for answers, the world searches for him - beginning with the cops that kick in the door of his dingy motel with guns drawn. Lost and alone, the man who might be Daniel Hayes flees into the night. All he remembers is a woman’s face, so he sets off for the only place he might find her. The fantasy of her becomes his home, his world, his hope. And maybe, just maybe, the way back to himself.But that raises the most chilling question of all: What will he find when he gets there?
Marcus Sakey has only been publishing for a couple of years, but all four of his Chicago crime novels have been very favorably reviewed. The author has spent a lot of time researching by doing ride-alongs with cops, learning the finer points of picking a deadbolt, and generally inhabiting the seedier side of the city in which he lives. Despite having apparently found a winning formula and loyal following, Sakey resists pigeonholing because he continues to push his work beyond the limits of the genre he has mastered with ease. This latest book has nothing to do with Chicago, and one cannot even say with confidence that it is a crime novel.
Audie Award winner and veteran narrator Christopher Lane brings a charming and credible range of voices to this unusual mystery. An amnesiac man wakes up on a beach in Maine, having lived through either attempted murder or suicide. With the barest of context clues for help and the cops chasing after him, he tries to put the pieces back together. Possibly he has killed his own wife. Lane articulates every ounce of paranoid uncertainty that Daniel Hayes rightly feels toward the few people at home in Malibu that he may be able to trust. As the plot unfolds into two parts soft-boiled Californian scam story and one part jaded Hollywood fantasy life, Lane unleashes such a diverse group of character voices that it's hard to believe they come from the mouth of one person.
As bad as Daniel Hayes may have been before he lost his memory, there are of course bigger sharks in town. Christopher Lane is particularly convincing as Bennett, the smooth talking and fast moving creep who holds most of Daniel's missing pieces close to his chest. Sakey is bravely reworking some of the territory covered by Christopher Nolan's excellent film Memento, but adding a healthy dose of west coast vibe to chill things out and propel this listen toward more entertaining and less cerebral ground. Megan Volpert
“Sakey writes like a dream, creates characters exactly like people you know, and above all he keeps you turning the pages.” (Lee Child)
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Plot has potential
A Never Ending Soap Opera