Thomas’s mind is an atlas and he spends all day every day scouring the internet memorizing major city maps. What Thomas considers being immersed in his work his brother calls a mental illness. Add to the equation he thinks he is employed by the CIA when he is not and that when all the computers crash there will be no maps archived in libraries or city planning blueprints left in local municipalities, Ray might have a point.
Their father was content to spend his golden years nurturing the gift or enabling the illness but after an accident, Ray is called home to tend to his father’s estate and his brother’s eccentricities. As Ray tries to bond with his brother he starts to unravel a strange story from Thomas’s childhood, one he was instructed to never speak of. Then Ray decides to humor one of Thomas’s unconventional requests. They find themselves in the middle of an elaborate cover-up. It is online for the world to access but only Thomas would notice it hidden among billions of tiny details of the New York City scenery.
I like that the character list is a motley crew of exceptionally gifted people. All of them are struggling and most find their talents to be burdensome. There is a fine line between gifted and cursed. Everyone wants to be special, exceptional, in the top fraction of a percent of a niche. Though great aptitude may not always be satisfying.
I like the unease of knowing that everything we do is documented. Every dashboard, security, ATM, and red-light camera is watching us not to mention how many people keep private security cameras in their homes. Every crime we commit has great potential to be captured on video. Even when you are certain you’re alone someone will be watching.
I find the notion that Thomas’s peculiarities make him easy to prey on sadly accurate. I like Ray’s mixed emotions toward Thomas. He has a love for his brother but frustration at taking care of a challenging person. All caregivers know that even the most tolerant person’s patience has an end. It is honest, but it is seldom talked about.
A good book. This one is a little less disjointed and mysterious than Linwood Barclay’s other works. It is still very thrilling and elaborate with funny moments sprinkled throughout. I highly recommend. For content and craftsmanship, it is a 4/5.