By Peter Abrahams
(William Morrow & Company, Hardcover, 9780060726577, 352pp.)
Publication Date: April 1, 2005
List Price: $24.95*
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What determines your identity? Is it the clothes you wear? The way other people treat you? The stories, anecdotes and experiences you have stored in your memory? When Nick Petrov wakes up in a hospital room, his clothes are two sizes too big. Everyone treats him like a victim. And he can't remember how he got there in the first place.
Nick Petrov is a brilliant private investigator with a reputation for bringing missing children safely home. Launched to tabloid stardom when he apprehended a brutal serial killer named Gerald Reasoner, Petrov has become something of a celebrity. When a woman approaches him, begging him to use his unique gifts to find her missing daughter, Petrov's instincts sound an alarm. He senses that she's concealing something. But is she lying to get Petrov's help or to set him up? Three days later, just as he has amassed all the answers he needs to close the case, they are swept away into oblivion.
Petrov awakes in a hospital bed, his memory of the past two weeks a complete blank, his personality altered. He is tempted to just put the trauma behind him and move on with his life, but there are too many things holding him back. When he returns home, he discovers a photograph full of strangers. In his office is a greeting card with a cryptic message inside, both the receiver and the sender completely unknown. His bank account has been augmented by a $450 check from a woman he can't remember. All of it points to a case he cannot recall.
Digging for answers when he doesn't even know the questions, Petrov begins to fear he is searching for the most elusive quarry he has ever hunted: himself. Uncomfortable truths about his past rise up from this haunting investigation, truths that force him to reinterpret the events of the notorious Reasoner case from years before. But the closer Petrov comes to solving the mystery, the more likely it seems that the monster he's looking for is staring back at him in the mirror.