Title: Mirror Skin
Author: Eric Del Carlo
Publisher: Loose Id
Length: 91 Pages
Category: Sci-Fi, Fantasy, Mystery/Suspense
At a Glance: I’m not quite sure exactly what I anticipated going into this story, but it certainly wasn’t what I ended up getting. It surprised me in a good way.
Reviewed By: Lindsey
Blurb: Seedy private detective and burnt-out ex-cop Nick Jordon receives a visit in the night. It’s his long-dead lover Dane, naked, his memories wiped, asking for help. Worse, Dane is being pursued by armed goons.
Together the onetime lovers flee, but now Nick must solve the craziest case of his life. How can Dane be alive? And want him back? To complicate matters, Nick starts to feel his old desire for his long-gone lover. But is this really Dane?
Review: Dane has been dead for a decade. Or, has he? That is the center of this intriguing and suspenseful sci-fi mystery. I’m not quite sure exactly what I anticipated going into this story, but it certainly wasn’t what I ended up getting. It surprised me in a good way.
For the last decade, Nick has been on a downward spiral with no care, and just going through the motions of surviving. Booze and pills are his friends, and he is one messed up individual. When his naked and long dead lover wakes him in the middle of the night, he has an appropriate reaction—he believes he has lost his mind and finally broken. He is quickly pulled from what he believes to be a hallucination, and realizes Dane is real when Dane’s pursuers make their presence known.
Dane has no memory of the last decade, but he trusts Nick. Something in him calls to Nick. Though no initial memory, pieces start filtering through as he tries to figure out just what in the heck is happening to him. Together, they race against a clock trying to figure out exactly what Dane has gone through, and the explanation for his reappearance. Their past connection is still vibrant, but Nick has definitely changed.
The prose was oddly poetic, which to me shouldn’t have worked but somehow did, mostly. There were some specific words used that are on my list of not sexy. Yet… it still fit in a way I can’t fully explain. Though set in the future, there was almost a whimsical tone to the text.
Though a relatively quick read, it is solid. Nick’s character was more relatable for me. His grieving, the man he became after losing Dane, having to face the decisions he made and realizing the direction he was heading. Dane was a little harder, since he had no memories to fall back on, but he becomes more defined as he continues to gain feelings and memories. Not much in the way of secondary characters, other than those sources Nick has, they are essentially on their own, the focus on Nick and Dane and what was going on.
I was definitely interested in trying to figure out exactly what happened to Dane, and how it would all work out. The plot moved quickly and didn’t dither or lag, and kept me invested. My only real issue with the story was when it all came together. When everything comes out and the mystery to Dane is solved, it was delivered in a fashion I hadn’t anticipated, and that threw me. It was less climactic that I had been expecting, less involved than I had thought and hoped for, and almost too nicely wrapped up. Though I enjoyed the journey to get there, I wish the end had just been a little more.
I’m not quite sure I have read anything with this style of writing in this specific type of story, but it worked. Give this one a shot if you are interested in a nice little futuristic sci-fi mystery.
You can buy Mirror Skin here: