Book Title: Lucidity
Author: David Carnoy
Series: None, but features reoccurring characters from previous books
Genres: Mystery, Thriller, Suspense, Fiction
Date Read: 02/11/17
Pub Date: 02/07/17
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?
I’ve been a long time fan of David Carnoy’s novels; he is a master at creating books that flow together with familiar characters yet also read easily as stand alone novels. If you are new to his work, you may choose to begin with Knife Music, where we are initially introduced to handicapped Detective Hank Madden, and then continue along with him to The Big Exit; if not, you may choose to pick up Lucidity as a standalone if you’re looking for a single read thats exciting and fast paced. Whatever your choice, you really can’t go wrong. I believe it was Janet, my librarian and all-around bibliophile aunt, who initially introduced me to Carnoy’s work and ever since I have eagerly anticipated each book he writes. While it’s true he doesn’t pop out 15 a year like some well-known authors, it is also a fact that he puts a great deal of time and care into crafting something truly special and unique for the reader; because of this I feel Lucidity is his best work to date.
It’s best to go into this book as blind as possible; the description above gives you everything you need to know so I won’t be rehashing the storyline or handing out any spoilers. What I will say is how truly satiating this novel is; the author turns the typical thriller into an intelligent, high quality read that doesn’t skimp on that compulsive “it factor” that causes many readers to choose the thriller genre. Here we don’t have to choose between fleshed out characters and a meaty plot or a fast paced story that’s impossible to put down; Carnoy has easily included it all, which is my top reason for being a repeat customer of his books. I believe the only minor factor that kept me from giving this a full 5 star review was the fact that all the pieces were tied up a little too neat and tidy for my taste; while this gave a full, satisfying ending, it also felt a little to perfect. Other than that, I felt this book couldn’t have done anything else to rank as a perfect read.
I know many fellow readers and bloggers who tend to shy away from straight up thrillers; they feel most books in this genre lack the depth and quality of others and only offer cheap thrills and timely pacing to serve as palate cleansers between other heavier reads. This is the type of thriller I would hand to those reviewers who are looking for more-more characterization, a more intelligent, intricate plot, and more to offer as a whole. The fact that the author can make me interested in a setting and plots involving Silicone Valley, something that has bored me to tears in the past, proves his talent in weaving together stories that have meaning and purpose. When I finish a book of his, I feel like I’ve accomplished something of value instead of binging on fluff. Highly recommended to those readers looking for quality without pretentiousness; this is the type of read anyone can pick up and follow well. Bring on the book hangover; my only regret is now having to wait for book #4!
*Many thanks to the author for providing my copy; it was a pleasure to share my thoughts free of bias or influence.