cover image No One in the World

No One in the World

E. Lynn Harris and RM Johnson. Simon & Schuster, $25 (320p) ISBN 978-1-4391-7809-6

Cobi Winslow is a powerful attorney who, having been adopted by a wealthy family, has lived a privileged life. However, discoveries of a long-lost, incarcerated twin brother, Eric, and a distressing clause in his parents' will set in motion a series of events that will threaten everything he has known. To further complicate the story, Cobi struggles to keep his homosexuality a secret for the sake of the family business, his reputation, and that of his lover Tyler, a state senator. When Cobi reunites with his brother, they bond, but Cobi's secret life leaves him vulnerable to blackmail by Eric's former cellmate, Blac, who has ten days to pay off a drug debt or else be killed. If this sounds convoluted, that's because it is. Harris' posthumous final novel, a collaboration with RM Johnson, is a mishmash of clich%C3%A9s, clunky plot devices, and improbable interactions among flat and unbelievable characters. As a result, the story, which admirably attempts to address real issues%E2%80%94belonging, sexuality, and the age-old nature versus nurture debate%E2%80%94falls short. (June)