Nora Baron’s life is perfect. She lives on Long Island Sound, teaches acting at a local university, and has a loving family. Then one phone call changes everything. She’s informed that her husband, Jeff, has died in a car crash while on a business trip in England. Nora flies to London to identify the body, which the police have listed as a “John Doe.” When she leaves the morgue, a man tries to steal her purse containing Jeff’s personal effects. Clearly, all is not as it seems.
At her hotel, Nora receives a cryptic message that leaves her with more questions than answers. She follows the message’s instructions to France, where a fatal encounter transforms her into a fugitive. Wanted for murder, on the run in a shadowy landscape of lies, secrets, and sudden violence, Mrs. “John Doe” must play the role of a lifetime to stay one step ahead of a ruthless enemy with deadly plans for her—and for the world.
This is the 2nd book of Mr. Savage that I have been able to review, the first being A Penny for the Hangman. If I tell you that book made me think if someone offers me an all-expense-paid first-class trip to St. Thomas, that I will refuse, tell you how creepy good the book was?
Mrs. John Doe is a book of this same caliber. And Savage drops the reader right into the thick of things from Chapter 1. Nora was on the widow's walk at her home when she receives a call that her husband has died. Oh, the irony. Gamers call little extras such as this 'Easter eggs'. In "Mrs.", they are in-book 'swag' that adds the icing to the cake of the text itself.
After finding out that she is now a widow, Nora learns that her husband's wallet had cash and pictures of her and their daughter, but was devoid of identification. Her husband was therefore classified as a "John Doe" by the police taking the report. Curiouser and curiouser.
I kept hearing lines from tv spy shows while reading "Mrs.", notably "trust no one" and "take nothing at face value". The action was thrilling and reading the story was like being the 2nd car in a high-speed chase, pursuing the next twist and trying not to go over too far on two wheels so that your vehicle skids and crashes.
I have to confess, after "Penny", I did not rush to add the rest of Mr. Savage's books to my TBR. That actually shows how much the book spooked me, and should not be taken in a negative manner. However, I am now heading over to GoodReads to add the rest of Savage's books. Liking one book could have been a fluke. Liking two books is a trend - and one on which I intend to follow-up.
If you like books that make your pulse pound, where the images conjured up by your mind while reading are better than the best 'action' movie, Mrs. John Doe should be on your shelf as well.
MEET THE AUTHOR
Tom Savage is the author of six suspense novels: Precipice, Valentine, The Inheritance, Scavenger, A Penny for the Hangman, and Mrs. John Doe. He wrote two detective novels under the name T. J. Phillips, Dance of the Mongoose and Woman in the Dark. His short stories have appeared in Alfred Hitchcock Mystery Magazine, Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine, and anthologies edited by Lawrence Block, Harlan Coben, and Michael Connelly. His short story, “The Method In Her Madness,” was nominated for the Barry Award. His bestselling novel, Valentine, was made into a Warner Bros. film. In his younger days he was a professional actor, and he also wrote a Broadway show, Musical Chairs.
Tom was born in New York and raised in St. Thomas, Virgin Islands. He attended Point Park College and Hofstra University, majoring in drama and minoring in English. After acting and writing plays, he worked for many years at Murder Ink®, the world’s first mystery bookstore. He’s a member of Actors Equity Association, ASCAP, the Authors Guild, Mystery Writers of America, the International Association of Crime Writers, and International Thriller Writers. He has served as a director on the national board of MWA, and he’s served several times on the Best Novel committees for MWA (Edgar® Awards) and IACW (Hammett Prize). He is a founding member of MWA’s Mentor Program, assessing and encouraging new mystery writers. He lives in New York City.
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(Disclosure: I received a copy of this book from the author and publisher via Enchanted Book Tours in exchange for my honest and unbiased review only.)