cover image Constance


Matthew FitzSimmons. Thomas & Mercer, $24.95 (376p) ISBN 978-1-5420-1426-7

At the start of this exceptional near-future SF thriller from FitzSimmons (the Gibson Vaughn series), Constance D’Arcy, a Washington, D.C., musician/songwriter who never quite made the big time, keeps her appointment at Palingenesis, the revolutionary research facility cofounded by her scientist aunt, the mother of human cloning. Constance enters the facility ready for her regular consciousness download, information that will be used to update her clone in the event of her death. The process has become as easy as a visit to the spa—until now. Constance awakes from the procedure with no memory of the preceding 18 months and the disturbing realization she’s a clone, which means the original Constance must be dead. Suddenly aware that her existence is considered a mistake and she’s in danger of being “deleted,” she escapes from the clinic, intent on finding out what happened to her original self. In this timely thriller, tantalizing clues, complex motives, and shifting views of the truth flow around such issues as the relationship between money and power, the right to life, and the definition of self. FitzSimmons has upped his game with this one. Agent: David Hale Smith, InkWell Management. (Sept.)