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The Two Deaths of Daniel Hayes by Marcus Sakey
Cover Artist: Photo: Bigstock
Review by Verna Suit
NAL Trade Paperback  ISBN/ITEM#: 9780451236920
Date: 01 May 2012 List Price $15.00 Amazon US / Amazon UK

Links: Author's Website / Show Official Info /

A man wakes up cold and naked on a lonely beach in Maine. Nearby he finds a BMW carrying clothes that fit him, money, and a gun. He deduces that this is his car, and from the car registration learns that his name is Daniel Hayes and that he lives in Malibu. But he doesn't remember anything at all from his previous life, or how he got to Maine, and certainly not murdering his wife.

But his wife does seem to be dead. As far as the police are concerned he's the prime suspect. Daniel instinctively knows that he needs to return home and find clues to his past life. He makes a mad dash cross country back to his nice home in Malibu. Once there he decides he needs to find the real killer himself, since the police aren't pursuing any other leads and Daniel is certain the murderer isnít him.

But someone else besides the police is looking for Daniel. A ruthless man named Bennett, for some reason, thinks Daniel owes him half a million dollars or a diamond necklace, or maybe both. While evading both the police and Bennett, Daniel little by little learns about himself and his past. He learns that he was a screen writer and his wife an actress. As he learns more about her complicated past, he begins to wonder if she had been playing a part throughout their marriage.

The Two Deaths of Daniel Hayes is a complex thriller that hooks the reader with the first line. Surprising twists pop up all the way through, especially at the end. The author makes good use of Daniel's profession as a screen writer by telling sections of the story in script format. Marcus Sakey, a TV personality in his own right, gives a first-hand tour through the LA film industry and delivers a can't-put-down read.

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