Lucidity by David Carnoy

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Lucidity by David Carnoy

After his “gripping thriller debut” (Kirkus) Knife Music and sophomore “page turner” ( The Big Exit, David Carnoy’s Detective Hank Madden returns in this bicoastal caper that pits dreams against reality, where nothing can be taken at face value.

Twenty years after the unsolved case of Stacey Walker’s disappearance went cold, a Silicone Valley executive hires the retired Menlo Park Police Detective Hank Madden to find her body and track down her missing husband, the prime suspect in her unsolved murder. Four months later, author Candace Epstein is pushed in front of a car near Central Park. Her editor Max Fremmer becomes entangled into the investigation of her attempted murder, though he is adamant that he is uninvolved. As he digs into Candace’s background to clear his own name, Fremmer grows suspicious of his client’s connection to a nefarious institute for lucid dreaming on the Upper East Side and its staff whose stories never seem to add up—all while an unexpected link emerges to Detective Madden’s investigation in California.

As similarities arise between the cases on each coast, Detective Madden and Fremmer forge an unlikely partnership to expose what misconduct lurks beneath the façade of the Lucidity Center—but can they unravel the secret that links their investigations together in time, or are they only dreaming? Carnoy’s Lucidity stuns with complex detail that will keep readers guessing until the final, satisfying jolt.  (-synopsis)


Retired Detective Hank Madden is working in a hardware store in California.  He enjoys this work but misses his days on the police force.   So when a man approaches him about finding the body of Stacey Walker twenty years after her disappearance he is intrigued.  He’s even more intrigued when he’s offered a million dollars if he finds the body.  Hank accepts the offer and quickly gets a team together to help him hunt.

Meanwhile on the East Coast an erotica author named Candace is hit by a car and is in intensive care.   They call her editor Max Fremmer to get information about her.   He goes to the police station to talk to the cops and finds that it was no accident.  A homeless man pushed her in front of the car and she may not make it.

Later in the day Max gets a call from a man who owns the Lucidity dream clinic.  He claims Candace owes him $50,000 and Max has until the end of the day to pay him.   Max has no clue what is going on and doesn’t have the money the man is looking for.

The book goes back and forth between both coasts and between Max and Hank.    They are each doing their own thing and for a while I wondered what the connection was between them.   About halfway into the book they finally come together and their stories intertwine.

I was thrown off by several red herrings in this book and thought that I had things figured out but I didn’t have a clue.   The ending blew my mind and was a twisted and exciting conclusion to the book.

I enjoyed reading this novel.  It was fast paced, I was totally into the characters, and I couldn’t wait to see how the two stories would cross paths.  Things were not as they seemed throughout the story but in the end everything worked out for those involved.

I give this book 4.5 out of 5 stars.

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