... stellar ... Intelligently plotted and powerfully told, Hamdy’s deviously twisty tale of fate and coincidence, love and courage, and profoundly tough choices will shock, stir, and haunt readers long after the final page. Hamdy has upped his game with this one.
For about three-quarters of its length, this British thriller balances twists and turns with weighty matters of fate, regret, grief, and longing. It’s a multimedia production, with narrative bites coming from court transcripts, transcribed video tapes, good old-fashioned letters, and a third-person omniscient narrator. It keeps the reader guessing, as a thriller is supposed to. And then it falls off a cliff, much as one of its characters does. It hints at a possible science-fiction element throughout; three of its main characters are high-level scientists, and the novel leaves a trail of breadcrumbs suggesting that their work might come into play. When it does, the results are kind of interesting, then quite imaginative, as long as you don’t think about it too much. Then the author explains. And explains. And explains. Harri all but vanishes for multiple pages at a time. Come back, Harri! She does, eventually, but by then the reader is swimming in scientific theory and wrestling with the book’s wordy take on the space-time continuum. It’s admirable when an author is willing to take a leap, but this one happens so fast and switches the novel’s tone (not to mention its genre) so completely that the reader might wonder what happened to that lean thriller they were just reading. The novel ultimately gets so mired in plot exposition that the ending seems further away the closer you get ... Too much exposition stalls a promising thriller.