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Dream Girl - a successful writer's life is turned upside down in this claustrophobic thriller.

Gerry Andersen is a popular author. His bestseller, Dream Girl, is about Aubrey, a twenty-something woman and her 72-hour affair with an older man. Legions of fans love to speculate as to who was the inspiration for its main character. Gerry insists the story is purely fiction. The 61-year-old author has had a lot of experience with women. Three ex-wives, almost a fourth and a string of liaisons. He believes he’s a good guy who has treated the women in his life well. He's a man with some serious lack of self awareness!

Gerry has relocated from New York City to Baltimore to care for his mother. When she dies, after suffering from dementia, Gerry has a freak accident and is bedridden. Personal assistant Victoria and night nurse Aileen provide round-the-clock help. A letter arrives (and mysteriously disappears) from someone named Aubrey. Then, a woman who says she is the real Aubrey keeps calling Gerry. A Twitter account in her name appears with some very personal information about Gerry. Is he hallucinating? If not, who is behind this?

Laura Lippman has created a suspenseful thriller with shades of Stephen King’s Misery. The story, told in very short chapters, alternates from the present and various periods in Gerry’s past. Mostly while heavily medicated, Gerry recalls his relationship with his mother, his unfaithful father, his few close friends, the history of his marriages and his days as a visiting college professor as well as a touring author. There’s a lot going on and a lot to keep you guessing as the pieces of this puzzle (for the most part) start to come together with great “antici……pation,” as the book quotes Tim Curry in The Rocky Horror Picture Show. (There are other smile-worthy references to movies and books.)

I enjoyed Dream Girl. Even though Gerry was too much of a clueless, misogynist jerk to care much about, I couldn’t put the book down. I appreciated the humorous and satirical aspects and without giving anything away, it was ultimately satisfying.

Many thanks to Williams Morrow / HarperCollins and Edelweiss+ for the opportunity to read this well-done thriller.

Rated 4 out of 5 stars.

Psychological Thriller / Suspense.

Publication Date: June 22, 2012.

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