Reviews provided by Syndetics
Library Journal Review
Going over old territory hot-and-bothered small-town Mississippi Iles tells the story of an obsessive love that seems literally to haunt John Waters. Waters has just encountered an enticing stranger who reveals something known only to his former flame, supposedly long dead. Dare we say that when the stranger is murdered, our protagonist finds himself in hot water? (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Publishers Weekly Review
Iles has written some solid, beautifully constructed thrillers (24 Hours; Dead Sleep), so when his latest seems for page after page to have no logical explanation for its central mystery, we hold on, bide our time and wait for the moment of revelation that will make everything fall into place. Unfortunately, that moment never comes. The puzzle of how a woman who has been dead for 10 years can suddenly appear in the body of another woman turns out not to be a mystery at all. It's a whole other genre horror or fantasy or science fiction. Iles fans will certainly enjoy the way he once again brings to piquant life his home turf Natchez and the Mississippi Delta and creates a character with an actual job. John Waters is a petroleum geologist, and the details of his work are carefully rendered. He's a happily married man of 41 with a bright eight-year-old daughter, although his sex life has all but disappeared in the wake of several disastrous pregnancies. So he's ready to be pushed over the edge by the sudden appearance of Eve Sumner, a 32-year-old real estate agent who seems to know every intimate detail of Waters's youthful affair with the late Mallory Candler a mentally fragile beauty queen who was subsequently raped and murdered in New Orleans. The game gets really serious when Eve is also murdered. Possibilities abound: John's weak and financially reckless partner might be behind the whole thing, and even Waters's embittered wife could be a suspect. Readers will probably stick around to see how Iles gets himself off the hook, but it's hard to imagine many of them coming away completely satisfied. (July) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
It takes an exceptional writer to make a story about soul transfer believable. Iles, who has wowed critics with his six previous thrillers, not only makes the incredible seem logical but also engages the reader completely in the hopes and doubts of his protagonist, who finds his life coming apart because of a summons from the dead. Petroleum geologist John Waters of Natchez, Mississippi, has painstakingly reconstructed his life after an affair with a beautiful but possessive woman who tried to kill him and nearly destroyed his spirit. This woman was killed in New Orleans 10 years ago. At a Mardi Gras party, a woman appears who sounds just like Waters' long-ago love. And she knows everything about their past. Iles is masterful at sustaining psychological suspense, as Waters is drawn into an affair with the woman who claims to be his lost love, again jeopardizing his life. An irresistible page-turner. Connie Fletcher.
Kirkus Book Review
Wild and wooly-headed thriller in which a settled family man confronts his homicidal first love, who is herself dead and buried. Huh? Well, it happens this way in the latest Iles (Dead Sleep, 2001, etc.). While a student at Ole Miss, John Waters falls overwhelmingly in love with Mallory Gray Candler, and she with him. The drop-dead gorgeous Mallory has a dark side to her, however, which John cottons onto the second time she tries to kill him. Temperamentally unsuited, they part. A few years later, unlucky Mallory is raped and murdered. Or so the world thinks. In actuality, Mallory, in a way incomprehensible to her (readers may also be puzzled), manages a "soul transmigration," the first of several en route to her ultimate destination: John. So one bright afternoon in Natchez, there's drop-dead gorgeous Eve Sumner observing John Waters as he coaches his seven-year-old daughter's soccer team. Eyes meet, hers the "eyes that know the souls of men." Soon enough, she's rattling off secrets only Mallory could have been party to. Shortly after, Eve tells John she is Mallory--that is to say, Mallory in an Eve package. Naturally, John resists so fanciful a notion, but Mallory-Eve knows too much minutiae to be doubted. Belief first, then terror as John comes to understand the convoluted wickedness of her grand plan. What mind-over-matter Mallory intends is resumption of her interrupted existence as John's soulmate--no soul-transmigration too grotesque to contemplate. "Get out of my wife," hisses frantic John at his tormenter. But she schemes, manipulates, and murders, eventually thwarted only when she encounters a mind as tenacious as hers. As one absurdist explanation follows another far-fetched plot twist, characters repeatedly tell each other to "keep an open mind." Readers so inclined might find a reward scattered here and there. Copyright ©Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.