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LUCIDITY
by David Carnoy
The Overlook Press, February 2017
285 pages
$26.95
ISBN: 1468310879


Buy in the UK | Buy in Canada

David Carnoy's Menlo Police detective Hank Madden has retired and finds himself at loose ends when he is offered $3,000,000 to find Stacey Walker's body and her killer in a 20-year-old cold case. The tech millionaire who offers him the deal is sketchy to say the least, but Madden takes the offer.

Meanwhile, in New York City, book doctor Max Fremmer finds himself mixed up in the business of one of his client's. She has been pushed in front of a car and is on life support at a local hospital.

Fremmer is a great character. He rides a scooter, teaches spinning at a local gym, has a 13-year-old son, and never practiced law after his girlfriend became a paraplegic in a skiing accident. He's your typical down at the mouth New Yorker who cobbles together a life with all sorts of gigs.

The main character in his client Candace Epstein's e-books is a woman who "surreptitiously jacks off men in Apple Stores." She is somehow linked to The Lucidity Centre, a shady operation which promises that, "we can live out our fantasies in a way that's virtually indistinguishable from reality." Lucid dreaming is their game and Candace is supposed to be writing a book about them. Alarm bells go off for Max but he too is soon caught in their net by his carnal fantasies.

Meanwhile back in Silicon Valley, Hank Madden is getting nowhere trying to find Stacey's body. Hank was a star back at the Menlo Park Police Department, having solved two famous cases (See Carnoy's first two books, KNIFE MUSIC and THE BIG EXIT) that made him a media darling. After all, he was one of the last polio cases, with a limp and a drop foot, and he outed himself as a sexual assault survivor. Perfect for Hollywood, he has been told the movie will feature Kevin Spacey.

When Max in New York finds a link between the two cases, LUCIDITY really takes off. The two men are great together, and they begin to unravel the two cases. The red herrings begin to come together and turn out not to stink quite so much. Each solves his case, which becomes almost the same case.

LUCIDITY is great fun to read. Cornoy's characters are au courant, caught up in the latest trends, from tech discoveries to New Age scams, from football concussion victims to eBook writers. His writing jumps right off the page. And he knows how to knock your socks off in the final scenes, when nothing turns out to be what it had seemed, to either Hank or Max.

Cornoy has hit this one out of the park.

Susan Hoover is a playwright, independent producer and retired college English teacher. She lives in Nova Scotia.

Reviewed by Susan Hoover, February 2017

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Contact: Yvonne Klein (ymk@reviewingtheevidence.com)


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