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Thursday, July 28, 2011

The Two Deaths of Daniel Hayes

The Two Deaths of Daniel Hayes
Marcus Sakey
Dutton, 2011

Waking up half-drowned on an abandoned beach with no memory of who he is, a man stumbles onto a BMW by the side of the road. When he gets in he finds a loaded gun, some money, and identification belonging to a man named Daniel Hayes. Not knowing what else to do, he drives to the nearest town and discovers he is in Maine. He has no idea why he would be in Maine, but he pawns the expensive watch on his wrist and gets a cheap motel room. For some reason, he feels compelled to watch a certain television show in order to see an actress named Emily Sweet. In fact, he dreams about the woman during the night – dreams that include other disturbing images that he suspects has something to do with his past and why he has no memory of it.

After the man discovers that he is wanted by the police, he decides to drive to the address on the car’s registration, which is in Malibu, California, carefully avoiding the public. When he arrives at the house, he is shocked to discover that it looks exactly like the set of the same television show that Emily Sweet stars in, and in fact, he is married to the actress Laney Thayer, who plays Emily Sweet on television. She has been murdered, and he is the chief suspect. As Daniel struggles to remember the events of that fateful night, he is overcome by the loss of a wife who he cannot remember while he struggles to keep one step ahead of the police. He can’t believe that he would be capable of murder, but as he tries to find out the truth, he discovers things about himself that cause him to doubt his own convictions.

This novel is a quick read, full of suspense, plot twists and surprises. It is an interesting study on what happens when innocent people get caught up in evil that is beyond their control and how they handle that evil. Although I don’t usually enjoy suspense (it makes me too nervous!), this story had just the right amount to keep the pages turning, yet not so much that my heart raced too fast. And the violence wasn’t too gory either.


Other novels by this author:
The Blade Itself (2007)
At the City’s Edge (2008)
Good People (2008)
The Amateurs (2009)

Other titles you may enjoy:

A Prisoner of Birth by Jeffrey Archer (2008)
A man framed for the murder of his best friend seeks revenge against the four men who put him in Belmarsh prison, the highest-security jail in the land, from where no inmate has ever escaped.

Breaking the Rules by Barbara Taylor Bradford (2009)
When a psychopath with deadly intent vows to shatter M's world forever, the muse and star model to France's iconic designer Jean-Louis Tremont will break the rules to protect her family and her life.

Innocent as Sin by Elizabeth Lowell (2007)
Despairing of finding the mysterious figure responsible for the murder of his identical twin, Rand McCree assists a rich socialite with an art exhibition that has inadvertently entangled her in a money laundering operation.

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