cover image The Reservoir

The Reservoir

David Duchovny. Akashic, $19.95 (128p) ISBN 978-1-63614-044-5

Actor Duchovny (Truly Like Lightning) effortlessly brings readers inside the mind of a retired Wall Streeter struggling to find purpose during the Covid-19 pandemic. Ridley, home in his apartment overlooking Central Park, takes inspiration from the view. He becomes obsessed doing a photography project involving time-lapsed photos of the park’s reservoir, one for each night, believing his gesture amounts to “reaching out to the world, trying to say something with his eyes,” and hopes his effort will live on in posterity. This project changes 250 days in, when he examines a picture snapped the previous night, which seems to reveal a pattern, described by Duchovny as “a flashing of lights all the way across the park high up in an apartment building on Fifth Avenue.” Ridley reexamines the previous photos and notices what might be a secret message, possibly a cry for help in Morse code from a woman in distress. His curiosity leads him to leave his home sanctuary and venture outdoors, hoping to identify the building from which the flashes emanated and their mysterious sender. The unpredictable plot twists never overwhelm the depiction of a flawed, lonely guy trying to maintain sanity in the midst of a world on pause. This intelligent effort further burnishes Duchovny’s status as a gifted novelist. (June)