cover image Dead Ringer

Dead Ringer

Kate Kessler. Redhook, $15.99 trade paper (416p) ISBN 978-0-316-43905-3

This one-note thriller from Kessler (Four of a Kind and three other Aubrey Harte novels) focuses on the entwined fates of identical twin sisters Hannah and Rachel Ward. In 1999, a serial killer nicknamed Gemini kidnapped Hannah when she went on a school trip to New York City. In the 18 years since, contrary to his usual pattern of promptly killing his victims, he has kept Hannah alive and sent photos of her to the bereft Rachel, now an FBI agent. Rachel is obsessed with the idea that wealthy photographer Alex Carnegie is Gemini, and she’s even more convinced when a twin is found gravely wounded in a car stolen from Carnegie’s property. Conveniently, Rachel’s boss at the FBI allows her to stay on the case, despite growing concerns for her impartiality. Chapters devoted to Hannah chart her gradual conversion from captive to willing accomplice à la Stockholm syndrome. Of more importance than the question of Carnegie’s guilt is the nature of the unbreakable bond that remains between Hannah and Rachel. Their inevitable and unlikely confrontation sounds a final note of unreality. Agent: Miriam Kriss, Irene Goodman Literary. (Oct.)