Dream Girl

HarperAudio. Jun. 2021. 8:54 hrs. ISBN 9780062390158. $26.99. SUSPENSE
Gerry Andersen, a successful novelist, is laid up in his Baltimore condo following a nearly fatal fall from his floating staircase. Gerry’s only contacts are his nurse/caregiver, his personal assistant, and a most unwelcome recent girlfriend who gains access by claiming to be Gerry’s wife. The doctor who is monitoring his progress in transitioning to a wheelchair is Gerry’s only other occasional visitor. Gerry has a cordless phone though, and, out of the blue, gets a call from someone claiming to be Aubrey, the fictitious “Dream Girl” from his award-winning novel. Later, there’s no trace of the call in his landline’s memory. Did he actually get the call or did he imagine it? Repeated untraceable calls begin to make Gerry question his sanity. What if his character somehow came to life to settle her differences with her author? Jason Culp’s narration effectively conveys Gerry’s inner turmoil and characterizes folks in flashbacks from Gerry’s despicable past.
VERDICT Lippman’s (Lady in the Lake) fans will want to have this audio alternative. Is it a great psychological mystery, or a long, contrived journey to Gerry’s demise? Lots of humorous literary allusions make it a writer’s book. Recommended.
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