What She Saw by Sheila Lowe
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
I received an ARC for this book from Net Galley in return for an honest review.
A woman wakes up on a train, destination unknown. She manages to verify that all her senses are working. What is not working is her memory. She has no idea who she is, where she's been, nor where she's going. Two other people on the train notice her. One of them offers to help her if she wants, but she refuses. The other man is dirty and smells like pot, so she ignores him and falls asleep again. When she awakens the second time, she is at the Crowne Plaza, Ventura Station. There are shops and people around, so she's hoping she gets some flash of insight from the surroundings to help her remember who she is.
And then a man, Zack, calls her by the name Jenna, and it seems as though he knows who she is. He offers her a ride home which means he knows where she lives, and he discusses her car's flat tire with her and offers to fix it for her in the morning. Before Zack has a chance to get to the job, though, the pot smoker from the train shows up at her door returning a backpack she left on the train when she got off the night before. Apparently he thinks a reward is order, so she gives him some money, and she gets the backpack with more clues about who she is and what she does with her life. Before the pot guy leaves, he calls her "Jessica", the name on her ID in the backpack.
So, is she Jenna or Jessica, and why is her identity mixed up like this in the first place? That forms the base of the story for What She Saw by Sheila Lowe. It takes a skillful writer to create the kind of story **What She Saw** turns out to be because there's more than one storyline to juggle as well as the characters that belong to each one.
There are many twists and turns to this book, and I don't want to spoil any of them by giving out too much information in my review. I did not see any of the major surprises coming, and I want other readers to appreciate that as much as I did. At the crux of the story, though, is something called Project 42, and it's a top secret plan that involves influential people in the story to carry out. What I found chilling about Project 42 was the suggestion that this could really happen, if it hasn't already been attempted. That is scary, and Sheila Lowe has done a very good job of keeping it real enough to make it unnecessary to suspend disbelief in the way many books with similar storylines do. In fact, there could possibly be a sequel. If there is, I want to be first in line to read it. There were characters in this book I would love to see revisited along with the ultimate fate of Project 42.
I gave this book 5*, and I would recommend it to mystery lovers, those who like some science fiction blended into a well done story, and those wanting a darn good puzzle to keep them guessing, as well as anyone sorry to see a book end.
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