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Nunn, Kem

ISBN 10: 1501164678 / ISBN 13: 9781501164675
Published by Scribner, 2016
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Bibliographic Details

Publisher: Scribner

Publication Date: 2016

Binding: PAP

Book Condition:New

About this title


The “disturbing and provocative” (Los Angeles Times) novel about a forensic neuropsychiatrist at the end of his rope—now a Hulu series starring Hugh Laurie and Diane Farr—from award-winning author Kem Nunn.

Chance is a dark story about psychiatric mystery, sexual obsession, fractured identities, and terrifyingly realistic violence—a tale told amid the back streets of California’s Bay Area, far from the cleansing breezes of the ocean. This is California noir, this is Kem Nunn country. It’s not pretty, it’s not sweet, but it is compelling and unforgettable.

The antihero of this book, Dr. Eldon Chance, a neuropsychiatrist, is a man primed for spectacular ruin. Into Dr. Chance’s blighted life walks Jaclyn Blackstone, the abused, attractive wife of an Oakland homicide detective, a violent and jealous man. Jaclyn appears to be suffering from a dissociative identity disorder. In time, Chance will fall into bed with her—or is it with her alter ego, the voracious and volatile Jackie Black? The not-so-good doctor, despite his professional training, isn’t quite sure and soon finds himself up against her husband, Raymond, a formidable and dangerous adversary.

Meanwhile, Chance also meets a young man named D, a self-styled, streetwise philosopher skilled in the art of the blade. It is around this trio of unique and dangerous individuals that long-guarded secrets begin to unravel, obsessions grow, and the doctor’s carefully arranged life comes to the brink of implosion. “Taking place in the twilit world of noir, where people and things are never what they seem” (The New York Times Book Review), Chance is a twisted, harrowing, and impossible-to-put-down head trip through the fun house of fate...mesmerizing until the very last page.


An Amazon Best Book of the Month, February 2014: Eldon Chance is a neuropsychiatrist in crisis. Though he’s developed a successful career “listening to the woes of others,” he’s rarely attuned to his own. Turns out, he’s got plenty. 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. Something of an amateur philosopher (as well as a self-taught Samurai), Big D is drawn to people’s frozen lake obsessions--the things they want so bad they’re willing to walk to the center of a frozen lake, “where the ice is thinnest.” Chance’s frozen-lake desire is one of his patients, the mysterious and dangerously manipulative Jaclyn Blackstone--or, more accurately, her sexier alter-ego, Jackie Black. In his reckless pursuit of Jaclyn/Jackie, Chance confronts her corrupt and abusive husband, an Oakland homicide detective, Romanian thugs, and his own secret past. --Neal Thompson

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