cover image Whiteout


Elyse Springer. Riptide, $17.99 trade paper (276p) ISBN 978-1-62649-512-8

Springer’s debut explores the parameters of an amnesiac’s fraught trust exercise through the experience of a young man who is told his name is Noah Landers. He’s got a head injury, purportedly sustained while shoveling snow at a remote cabin in Colorado. With him is a handsome, apparently older man calling himself Jason O’Reilly. None of these data points resonates in any way with Noah—not even the revelation that he and Jason had gone there as lovers. More irritable and suspicious than frightened by his situation, Noah keeps chipping away at Jason’s reticence, which Jason excuses by saying he wants Noah’s memories to return on their own. The excuse doesn’t ring true and neither do the stories Jason does tell, though his affectionate behavior warms Noah. Noah’s paranoia is resolved in a twist that complicates the lovers’ dilemma rather than concluding it. The well-executed plot neither transcends nor reinvents the amnesia trope, but it satisfyingly fills its confines with a pair of appealing and complex characters. (Jan.)