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0 out of 50 out of 50 out of 50 out of 50 out of 5 0.00 (0 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Kem Nunn Narrator: Adam Verne Publisher: Dreamscape Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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From the Los Angeles Times Book Prize–winning author comes a suspenseful and mind-bending novel about Eldon Chance, a forensic neuropsychiatrist at the end of his rope.

Dr. Eldon Chance is a brilliant forensic neuropsychologist with a long track record of getting involved with damaged women. After separating from his wife, a series of bad decisions leads Chance to sleep with a patient named Jaclyn Blackstone. Unfortunately her ex-husband is an Oakland homicide detective and the jealous type.

Meanwhile, Dr. Chance meets a young man who goes by “D”, who is fascinated by the dangerous affair with Jaclyn and advises Chance that her ex-husband will find a way to destroy him. As Detective Blackstone does indeed threaten the doctor, Chance and D plan a counterstrike. Meanwhile Chance continues his steamy affair with Jaclyn, who has a story that is far more complex and darker than he could have ever imagined.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Demonstrates the mastery of psychological insight and cool observation his readers have learned to rely upon…absolutely satisfying storytelling.”

    Robert Stone, New York Times bestselling author of Outerbridge Reach

  • “Crafty.”

    New York Times Book Review

  • “At the start of this smart, twisty, and addictive book, Dr. Chance’s life—‘the life he’d so carefully arranged for himself’—is falling apart. His costly divorce forces him to sell his antique furniture, a decision that introduces him to the remarkable character named Big D, a hulking, unhinged, tattooed, self-proclaimed Iraq war vet turned furniture restorer who becomes buttoned-up Chance’s unlikely friend, mentor, and potential savior.”

    Amazon.com, editorial review

  • “Is it too much to compare Kem Nunn to Raymond Chandler? Like Chandler, Nunn’s great subject is what lies beneath the surface, the desolation that infuses us at every turn…The power of this disturbing and provocative novel is that it leaves us unmoored among the signposts of a morally ambiguous universe in which, even after we have finished reading, it is uncertain who has been feeding whom.”

    Los Angeles Times

  • “Lives spin out of control and rattle like pinballs through the greedy, self-destructive, violent backdrop of this American life.”

    Los Angeles Magazine

  • “Sentence by sentence. Nunn achieves a muscular eloquence—I almost wrote elegance— unusual in what at first appears to be a genre novel. There hasn’t been fiction this good about a San Francisco medical professional gone off the rails over a woman since Frank Norris’ deluded dentist in the 1899 novel McTeague."

    San Francisco Chronicle

  • “The book could be considered a pulp masterpiece. It has everything from a femme fatale to a dystopian setting where the California sun is blotted out by a black-ash fog from wildfires burning around the Bay. Chance is the kind of everyman whose bad choices are noir staples. But calling it pulp would undersell the sheer genius of the writing, which uses the convention of mystery-thrillers to create a psychological allegory of Freud’s construct, id, ego, and superego at war with themselves.”

    Arizona Republic

  • “[A] Brilliant and cerebral psychological thriller”

    Publishers Weekly (starred review)

  • “[A] brilliant and cerebral psychological thriller…By the surprising conclusion, we learn that all the main players have hidden histories of their own.”

    Publishers Weekly (starred review)

  • “Psychiatrist Eldon Chance, who makes his living providing testimony in court cases, is appalled to see the life he had so carefully constructed for himself break apart…Suddenly, Chance finds himself in a violent and unpredictable underworld, far removed from the placid decorum of the courtrooms where he plies his trade. Nunn, best known for the cult surfing novel Tapping the Source, excels at creating complicated, flawed characters with fascinating backstories. This gritty, twisted tale will be of prime interest to noir fans.”


  • “Listeners will find San Francisco as much a character in Nunn’s sinewy, gritty thriller as psychiatrist Eldon Chance. After a nasty divorce, Dr. Chance finds himself drawn to a patient, Jaclyn Blackstone, who is suffering from dissociative identity disorder. Adam Verner portrays the characters entering Chance’s new life, as well as his ex-wife and daughter, with empathy, finding a unique style and voice for each. Listeners will find it completely credible that ‘D,’ an imposing ex-soldier, understands the mindset of abusive predators like Jaclyn’s husband. Verner intensifies the drama, suspense, and plot twists with his subtle presentation of Nunn’s flawed but engaging characters. Contemporary crime fiction at its best.”


  • An Amazon Best Book of the Month, February 2014
  • A Publishers Weekly Pick of the Week
  • A New York Times Editor’s Choice
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About the Author

Kem Nunn is a third-generation Californian whose previous novels include Tapping the Source, which was made in to the film Point Break, and Tijuana Straits, which won the Los Angeles Times Book Award. He lives in Southern California, where he also writes screenplays for television and film.