St. Martin's, Dec 2003, 24.95, 320 pp.
Philip Dryden was driving while his spouse Laura slept when another vehicle smacked his car sending it over the edge into the icy water below. Someone rescued the duo, but Philip has no idea whom. Meanwhile Laura remains comatose in the Tower Hospital. Dryden prays she will recover, but as each day passes he loses a bit of hope yet comes back the next day wishing anew for a miracle.
When a corpse is pulled out of the River Lark, Weekly Crow reporter Philip investigates and learns of a forensic link to a desiccated body found amidst the Ely Cathedral last inspected three decades ago. Philip searches for incidents from that era and hones in on the 1966 "Crossroads" robbery and its nasty aftermath when the thieves had a falling out. As Laura begins showing signs of reviving, Philip sees a new connection between the corpses, his rescue from the watery grave, and his wife's condition, but even he wonders if he is paranoid or brilliant.
If not for Philip, THE WATER CLOCK would be a run of the mill investigative tale. Instead he fits the bill of a strong character as he turns the tale into an exhilarating yarn due to his flaws (aqua-phobia for obvious reasons), his caring (visits his wife everyday though it seems helpless) and his professional skills that seem wasted on a circulation of seventeen-K and falling.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner