cover image Come and Find Me

Come and Find Me

Hallie Ephron, Morrow, $24.99 (288p) ISBN 978-0-06-185752-2

Trite characters and turgid plotting undermine Ephron's second stand-alone suspense novel (after Never Tell a Lie). Computer security expert Diana Banks, two years after the death of her husband, Daniel, in an alpine climbing accident, flounders through Otherworld, a place on the Internet that offers her virtual refuge, in the guise of her cyber avatar, Nadia. The disappearance of Diana's lovely hypochondriac sister, Ashley, forces Diana, Xanaxed to the gills, out of cyberspace and into a frantic search for Ashley that spirals into an ambivalent romantic betrayal. In exploring the dangers of Internet existence, Diana concludes with contemporary feminist logic that she'd mistakenly allowed herself to depend so much on Daniel she'd lost her very identity. Philosophic hints that the Internet's promise of unlimited freedom has turned into a "playpen for Big Brother" may strike some readers as facile, while for others the combination of chilly cyberspace and overwrought romantic suspense simply won't compute. (Apr.)