Dreams and deception collide in David Carnoy's page-turning tale of murder, manipulation, and mistaken identity.
After his “gripping thriller debut” (Kirkus) Knife Music and sophomore “page turner” (Examiner.com) The Big Exit, David Carnoy’s Detective Hank Madden returns in this bicoastal caper that pits dreams against reality, where nothing can be taken at face value.
Twenty years after the unsolved case of Stacey Walker’s disappearance went cold, a Silicone Valley executive hires the retired Menlo Park Police Detective Hank Madden to find her body and track down her missing husband, the prime suspect in her unsolved murder. Four months later, author Candace Epstein is pushed in front of a car near Central Park. Her editor Max Fremmer becomes entangled into the investigation of her attempted murder, though he is adamant that he is uninvolved. As he digs into Candace’s background to clear his own name, Fremmer grows suspicious of his client’s connection to a nefarious institute for lucid dreaming on the Upper East Side and its staff whose stories never seem to add up―all while an unexpected link emerges to Detective Madden’s investigation in California.As similarities arise between the cases on each coast, Detective Madden and Fremmer forge an unlikely partnership to expose what misconduct lurks beneath the façade of the Lucidity Center―but can they unravel the secret that links their investigations together in time, or are they only dreaming? Carnoy’s Lucidity stuns with complex detail that will keep readers guessing until the final, satisfying jolt.
I really liked this novel. The plot is very clever, very well thought out. There were twists at the end, as well as along the way, that kept me actively thinking about the cold case and its possible resolution. A red herring showed up here and there too. That the action happens in two places was deftly handled. The narrative alternates between California and New York but in a systematic way so I was not confused.
The characters were well crafted. Madden came across as a real person. He had been successful as a detective but now retired lacked the focus to write his memoir. He was prime for working a cold case when approached. Fremmer came across as one of those New York City guys who tried to work all the angles.
I always appreciate learning something when I read a novel and this time it was about lucid dreaming. Some of the dream descriptions were a little too graphic for me in their sexual nature but otherwise, reading about them was interesting.
I recommend this novel to those who like a well planned out plot with lots of action. There is a graphic sex scene, part of a lucid dream, but other than that I found the novel entertaining and an enjoyable one to read. I'll be watching for more from this author.
My rating: 5/5 stars.
My rating: 5/5 stars.
Book Details:Genre: Mystery, Thriller
Published by: Overlook Press
Publication Date: February 7th 2017
Number of Pages: 288
ISBN: 1468310879 (ISBN13: 9781468310870)
Series: Detective Hank Madden (Each is a Stand Alone Mystery)
Purchase Links: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Goodreads
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Author Bio:While David Carnoy lives in New York City with his wife and children, his novels take place in Silicon Valley, where he grew up and went to high school (Palo Alto). His debut novel, Knife Music (2010), was a Top-10 bestseller on the Kindle and also a bestseller on the Nook. More medical thriller than high-tech thriller, to research the novel Carnoy spent a lot of time talking with doctors, visiting trauma centers, and trailed a surgeon at a hospital in Northern California to help create the book's protagonist, Dr. Ted Cogan.
The Big Exit (2012) isn't a sequel to Knife Music per se. However, a few of the characters from Knife Music figure prominently in the story. His second novel has more of a high-tech slant and reflects Carnoy's experiences as an executive editor at CNET.com, where he currently works and is trying resolve his obsession with consumer electronics products. He went to college at Wesleyan University and has an MFA in creative writing from Columbia University.