I read The Two Deaths of Daniel Hayes by Marcus Sakey . . .

and liked it.

I’ve read some of his other novels (Good People, The Amateurs, The Blade Itself), have yet to read At the City’s Edge and Scar Tissue (short story collection available only as an e-book), and found them all good reads. His forte is crime fiction, usually involving regular people who get into deep shit.

This one’s a bit of a break from that, as it involves this Hollywood screenwriter, Daniel Hayes, who, not to give anything away, is married to a kinda-famous TV actress. He wakes up in the Atlantic Ocean (close to the shore, or this would’ve been a pretty short book) with no idea of who he is.

It starts off as a quest, with Hayes trying to find out who he is, and later, what he’s done, as the cops seem very, very intent on arresting him. He goes cross-country in a BMW, Atlantic Ocean to Pacific Ocean, and Sakey wisely doesn’t waste too much time on his journey. No mini-plots, no adventures in Iowa.

The pacing is good, and although the amnesia angle’s been done before, it’s used very well in this instance. And I can’t dig on the amnesia bit too much, as I’m planning to use it in my fourth book, whenever the hell that gets written. (Logically, it would be after I finish the second and third ones.)

I am so making this summer my book bitch.

Marcus Sakey also hosts the television show Hidden City; I’ve watched a few episodes on the Travel Channel, but I don’t know if it still comes on. In the show, he tours cities like Austin and San Francisco, profiling the weird stuff. I hope it still comes on. It was great.

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