I picked this book up off of the shelf, curious about the title and the cover. The inside cover blurb sells the book as a mystery/thriller, so I took it home from the library. However, the Prologue is not that of a typical mystery - it is odd, foreboding, compelling, elliptical, seemingly random and yet, by the end, it hits home, powerfully so - and then the story begins. This is a story about loss, grieving, friendship and its limits, trust, memory, doubt and mystery - but not simply of the whodunit type - the mystery of our lives, how we make the choices we make, how innocent details can have huge effects, how we carry around the past, living in an uncertain and confusing present, sometimes afraid, sometimes excited about the future - the everyday unknowns we all live with - and often prefer to ignore or deny. This story and its characters touched me very deeply. It is a beautiful and moving story about one man's struggle to try to make some sense of the events that happen to him. He struggles to maintain dignity, control and self-respect, to do what he feels is most important. And, in the end, it is, actually, a bit of a political thriller/mystery... but what is most important is the journey that the main character, Joop Kooperman, is forced to take - as life forces all of us to struggle with and through experiences we do not want to face and would prefer never to have happened. There is some Buddhism of a sort, some physics, movie industry chat, politics, and lots and lots of local LA detail - which, because I live here, really brought the story home to me. The story has a fascinating and clever plot. It is rich and interesting and does not follow the tried and true of the msytery/thriller genre. TIt will surprise you!
Most importantly I cared about the nuanced and interesting characters and the way they faced the challenges that life brought them. I learned something about life and people, and was intrigued and drawn in emotionally, even if the overall emotional tone of the book was of sadness, loss and grief. A great book - I am really surprised that I am the first one to review it! Highly recommended!