Publisher: The Overlook Press
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.
You know how sometimes you read the same genre so often that things begin to feel stale? I especially feel this can be true when you read a lot of mysteries, it’s hard to come across something fresh and different, I can’t imagine how hard it is for authors to come up with something new and exciting! There was something really noteworthy about Lucidity, it gave me a new vibe while I was reading it that I really appreciated.
There are two separate narratives here; Hank Madden is a retired detective in California who has been hired to investigate a cold case as a PI and Max Fremmer, a “book doctor” and spin instructor from New York who’s client and friend, Candace was just pushed into traffic and is not expected to make it. Each chapter flips back and forth between the two men and both storylines were engrossing. There were definitely similarities between both cases, but the way Carnoy weaved them together was truly effortless and impressive, it sure kept me on my toes.
Both Fremmer and Madden were fantastic characters, the type where you feel like you could actually encounter people exactly like them in real life. Fremmer was a funny guy, his dialogue reminded me of Harlan Coben’s style and I mean that as a huge compliment, because as a writer I feel he can do no wrong. Everything about this was sharp and witty, like I said earlier it just felt really fresh. Madden was equally interesting, he was one of the last cases of polio in the US, he’s a sexual abuse survivor and a decorated cop.
I loved hopping back and forth from the east to the west coast, it kept things exciting. There were several well executed turns and red herrings along the way and things didn’t play out how I was anticipating. Besides the two amazing protagonists there was a great cast of eccentric characters to spice things up, and the concept of lucid dreaming was trippy but a really cool addition.
Overall rating: 4/5
Thanks to Chelsea at The Suspense is Thrilling Me and the author for my review copy.
Three people will each receive a ecopy of Lucidity! Open internationally as long as you can receive an email from me with the file 😜