Dr. Eldon Chance is a forensic neuropsychiatrist working in LA, whose life, like many of his client’s lives, is slowly unraveling. First there is his divorce and the money that will cost, then his daughter’s troubles at school and finally his unhealthy attraction to a client, Jaclyn Black, who is being abused by her LA cop husband.
Chance knows that his life is unraveling, after all he is a professional who sees people in this predicament all the time, but in the moment, as it happens to him, each step seems perfectly reasonable. Take for example his furniture. The pieces are antique and highly collectible pieces except for the damaged and lost details on a couple of the pieces, but the antique store owner he consults says not to worry they can be “restored” by his restorer, Big D, who will work his magic and then they can be sold to a collector as a complete set for a lot of money. Chance knows this is a bit underhanded but he needs the money and so he decides to do it anyway. And that his how he gets to know Big D, a former Iraqi war vet who is familiar with the underbelly of life, knowledge that Chance finds himself increasingly relying on as he deals with a corrupt revengeful cop, the Romanian mob, a kidnapping and a client with multiple personalities. “Like Houdini,” Chance realizes, “we construct the machinery of our entrapment from which we must finally escape or die,” and Chance is hoping that he can escape.
Nunn is a good writer and has been compared to Raymond Chandler who also wrote about things below the surface. Nunn’s prose is lush and descriptive and he juxtaposes this with Chance’s voice which seems clinical and detached even as his world falls apart around him. Somehow Nunn is able to walk the razor’s edge; allowing us to see how these choices seem completely rational to Chance and at the same time how truly irrational they are. Big D is the key to this razor’s edge and is an amazingly complex character who I hope we see again. This is my first book by Nunn, but it will not be my last!
Brenda’s Rating: **** (4 Stars out of 5)
Recommend this book to: Sharon, Marian and Lauren
Book Study Worthy: Yes
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