On Borrowed Time
By David Rosenfelt
Richard Kilmer has found himself in this situation. He’s a magazine writer living in New York. He’s met a wonderful woman by the name of Jen. They date and fall in love and on a trip upstate meet her parents. He asks her to marry him and she accepts. So perfect, right? However…on a side trip, they encounter a freak storm and have an auto accident. Kilmer escapes relatively unharmed but Jen has disappeared. In fact, she’s disappeared completely from his life. Nobody he talks to remembers her. Not his friends, not the person Kilmer remembers as her mother, nobody. This starts Kilmer on a search for answers, but who can he trust. Who is real? What is real?
This book is one of the reasons I enjoy reading. Sometimes I can figure out the plot, where, it’s headed, and maybe even figure out the ending. This one…not so much because of the way Rosenfelt parcels out information. Most of the above happens before page 25. I’m not giving anything else because to do so would be to ruin the story. The enjoyment of reading is that I am not always one step ahead, that I can be surprised, that I don’t have the Holmes’ deductive reasoning. For me, I love the intensity of a well crafted plot and how it’s presented. I don’t mind being unable to figure out the mystery.
Richard Kilmer: 29, magazine writer, lives in New York, sports fanatic, attended the University of Pennsylvania, father dead
Juice: Nickname taken from O.J. Simpson, tracking Kilmer’s movements and conversations, has a niece, can be hired to kill targets
Two characters are all I’m giving you, because, like the plot, to describe more would be to ruin the story. I will say that there are some memorable characters even if details are lacking. Rosenfelt does not delve too much into background but gives just enough to keep them interesting. There is a cop, a private investigator, a federal agent, a psychiatrist, a sister, but for me to try to provide details would be unfair to the reader. I will give this – nobody is boring or unimportant. If anything, I wanted his buddies to be more involved in the plot than they were.
Pretty good voices. Conversations are not long. There are a few medical and security explanations but nothing that cannot be understood.
First person from Kilmer’s POV and third person from various others’. Short chapters with no numbers. Quick action. Very tight and controlled writing. As mentioned above, Rosenfelt gives just enough information each time to keep you moving. I didn’t think the story dragged at any point because there was always something new to provide more questions. Rosenfelt is fair, though, because the clues are there.