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by Alfred Gough and Miles Millar
Grand Central Publishing, March 2019
336 pages
ISBN: 1538731363

Buy in the UK | Buy in Canada

Alfred Gough and Miles Millar's DOUBLE EXPOSURE tells the story of a war that never ended. Film preservationist and Korean war veteran David Toland has left combat and destruction behind him only to be dragged back into it by CIA Agent Lana Welles. Originally brought in to restore an old film canister, Toland discovers a conspiracy that may prove Adolf Hitler still to be alive.

After a call to Welles, both veteran and agent find themselves on the run as fugitives. Chasing every lead they can, the pair are pursued around the world by people who wish to keep the conspiracy under wraps. Joined by a famed crime author who is not just what he seems, David and Lana fake identifies, dodge a persistent killer, and fall a little in love. But just as things begin to turn in their favor, terrible truths come to light, trusted allies turn out to be not who they thought they were, and plans for world domination are exposed.

DOUBLE EXPOSURE was one of the most delightful books I've had the pleasure of reading. David Toland is a refreshingly dynamic character. A quick thinker who manages to keep his wits about him while in peril, Toland is always questioning. He often propels the plot forward through his logic, reasoning, and general foolish luck.

Opposite Toland is the clever and enigmatic CIA agent Lana Welles. She's is harsh to Toland, desperate to piece together the truth of the film canister, but she slowly warms up as their journey persists. With her beauty and attractive intellect, she is cold and calculating, rather like a femme fatale figure.

Both Toland and Lana are spectacular on their own, each with an individual set of skills and personalities that you can fully understand and connect to. Put them together, and they are incendiary. If Welles has a question, Toland has the answer. The most enjoyable part of this novel is watching how they grow and change around each other.

With such wonderful characters, it's no surprise that the tale itself if just as delightful. Be warned, if you are looking for an accurate or cryptically suspenseful plot, this is not the book for you. It's not hard to guess what their next step is. If they discover a last name, they will find out where he is. If he's in Paris, then Paris is where they shall go. But even then, the vivid descriptions of their journey, of what they do, and where they arrive are thoroughly engaging. No matter if you can see everything coming, it's still easy to get lost in the pages.

DOUBLE EXPOSURE may be predictable in all the right ways but still offers a twist I didn't see coming. Alfred Gough and Miles Millar create a strong visual experience. That, however, is no surprise as the authors are also the creators of the TV show Smallville. Superbly vivid descriptions, well-rounded and developed characters, and page-turning action all combine to make a debut novel that is wildly cinematic.

Keshena Hanson recently earned a degree in English from University of Wisconsin - Green Bay, and was published in the University's Sheepshead Review. Her love for mystery started with Blue's Clues, and now she reads any mystery she can get her hands on.

Reviewed by Keshena Hanson, March 2019

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Contact: Yvonne Klein (ymk@reviewingtheevidence.com)

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