Joanna Flynn and Caroline McKenna have more in common than their age, 29, and slim, fine-boned beauty. Though separated by 3000 miles, each suffers a fatal accident at exactly the same moment. Joanna instantly returns to life, however, surviving electrocution by a downed power line in Atlanta, while Caroline sleeps forever in a Cliffside, Ore., graveyard. Or does she? Bits of her seem to have taken up residence in Joanna, who now feels an inexplicable urge to wear skirts instead of pants and has a sudden hankering for secondhand cigarette smoke. More tellingly, she finds her own sleep wracked by a recurring nightmare that delivers a haunting message. Caroline's young daughter, Regan, is in danger, and only Joanna can save her. The premise makes for harrowing good fun, and Joanna is appealingly plucky and true to her mission as she gallops into Cliffside to probe the mystery that was Caroline. Was the dead woman good, bad or an unsettling mix of both? Did her husband love her or hate her? Was her death an accident or murder? Romance bonds Joanna to handsome Cliffside sheriff Griffin Cavanaugh, despite mutual suspicions. Alas, Hooper (Amanda) relies on sentence fragments to suggest drama, question marks to promote uncertainty and italics to invoke the processes of consciousness. So, though they will shiver and shudder, readers won't enjoy the chill as much as they might have. (Dec.)
Reviewed on: 11/04/1996 Release date: 11/01/1996 Genre: Fiction
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