Sunday, May 1, 2011

The Two Deaths of Daniel Hayes by Marcus Sakey

A man wakes up naked and cold, half-drowned on an abandoned beach. The only sign of life for miles is an empty BMW. Inside the expensive car he finds clothes that fit perfectly, shoes for his tattered feet, a Rolex, and a bank envelope stuffed with cash and an auto registration in the name of Daniel Hayes, resident of Malibu, California.

None of it is familiar.

What is he doing here? How did he get into the ocean? Is he Daniel Hayes, and if so, why doesn't he remember? While he searches for answers, the world searches for him-beginning with the police that kick in the door of his dingy motel, with guns drawn. Lost, alone, and on the run, the man who might be Daniel Hayes flees into the night.

All he remembers is a woman's face, so he sets off for the only place he might find her. The fantasy of her becomes his home, his world, his hope. And maybe, just maybe, the way back to himself.

But that raises the most chilling question of all: What will he find when he gets there?

This is one fantastic book. I love everything about it, including its title.

The first few pages alone are filled with gorgeous images and evocative descriptions that had me captured from the moment I started reading.
Daniel Hayes is a smart, yet believable character, no Einstein or Superman here, just a regular person using his brain in a realistic manner. For me, that in itself should be applauded, after reading so many books, especially thrillers, where the good guys have all kinds of coincidences help them out, and the skills of samurais. In this book, things are resolved with a little more sense.

The gritty L.A. atmosphere permeates the story, a place in turns glaring with spotlights and steeped in shadows. It adds real meat to the plot, anchoring it.

There are enough twists and turns to keep everyone, old-time thriller lover and newbie alike and an ending that will drag out a few not-so-polite exclamations.
Highly recommend it.

1 comment:

Yvonne said...

Great review! Sounds like a book I'd really like. Plus, I know LA so well (just went down last weekend for the LA Times Festival of Books), so I can piture it perfectly in my mind.