Simon & Schuster, Nov 2002, 23.00, 346 pp.
Doctor Jackson Maebry is the golden boy of San Francisco Memorial hospital. He is the chief resident in reconstructive surgery and the protégé of Dr. Peter Brandt, the head of the department. At a party given by Dr. Brandt's biotech company Genderm, he meets the beautiful Allie and for both of them it is love at first sight. They have four perfect months together before tragedy strikes.
Jackson is summoned to emergency where a woman beaten and burned almost beyond recognition is struggling to stay alive. At first Jackson doesn't recognize it's Allie on the table and when he does he stays at her side until she wakes from her coma. When she awakens from her comatose state, she doesn't remember anything about the attack. For some reason, the lead detective on the case zooms in on Jackson as the prime suspect. When Jackson starts looking into Allie's past, he comes to a conclusion that sets him on a path that will change his life.
Joshua Gilder's debut novel is an exciting psychological thriller with so many twists and turns that readers will have to read it in one session just to see how everything is finally resolved. The hero is a flawed person with many psychological problems but he lives his life to the fullest, which is only one of the reasons the reader will adore him. Though why he is singled out as the prime suspect besides being the victim's lover is not fully explained, GHOST IMAGE remains a strong tale that is unlike any other novel on the market today.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner