Dark City, Oct 2003, 23.95, 242 pp.
Paranoid schizophrenic Scott Moody was institutionalized after he lost touch with reality and had conversations with dead people. After two years he was deemed stable enough to be mainstreamed back in society. He worked briefly as a private eye until his client's uncle kidnaps and drugs him and puts him in a rest home. After that incident Scott leaves Spokane and moves to Seattle where he drives a cab and sees his daughter when his ex-wife allows it.
The first two fender benders Scott is involved in he chalks up to bad luck coincidence, but the third one puts him in the hospital where he has a mental relapse. When he gets out, he refuses to drive the cab anymore. The replacement driver who drove Scott's usual cab was killed in an accident. Although Scott is definitely paranoid, he believes that somebody or a group of people is responsible for certain traffic accidents. He intends to find out who they are or die trying.
The question of the protagonist's sanity is paramount to the central theme. Are the car accidents he is involved in random chance or a concerted effort by a group of people whose goals are unknown? It would be too easy to chalk the events up to the hero's mental illness especially when other people he knows are also victims. Steve Oliver, a former mental patient himself, has created a character who is fascinating, vulnerable and likable, one that the audience roots for every step of the way.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner