Maddy's Reviews > On Borrowed Time

On Borrowed Time by David Rosenfelt
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Feb 12, 2012

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Read in February, 2012

PROTAGONIST: Richard Kilmer, journalist
SETTING: New York (city and state)
SERIES: Standalone
RATING: 3.25

Richard Kilmer is a journalist who has found the woman of his dream, Jennifer Ryan. Not only is she beautiful, but they are compatible in every way. When Richard proposes to Jen, she says “yes”. A visit to her parents in upstate New York is called for. While they are there, they decide to visit a local landmark. On the way, the weather takes a dramatic turn for the worse, and they have a terrible accident. Afterwards, Jen is nowhere to be found.

It isn’t until Richard returns home that things become crazy. There is absolutely no one who remembers Jen or the fact that she and Richard were about to become married. Richard diligently tracks down every lead. When he returns to Jen’s parents, her “mother” says that her husband died years earlier and their only child died in infancy. As he finds more and more dead ends, Richard begins to wonder if he is insane—how could such a significant relationship exist only in his head?

When he writes an article about his experience, a woman named Allie appears and says that “Jen” is really her identical twin sister, “Julie”, who disappeared while on a road trip. She is the only one who believes Richard’s strange tale and helps him try to resolve the dilemma. The narrative alternates between their investigation and the person who has caused Richard’s problems. There’s a lot at stake for this individual, and murder is an option for anyone who gets in his way.

I wondered how on earth Rosenfelt was going to provide a reasonable explanation for Richard’s travails. The revelation around what really happened did make sense but required quite a lot of suspension of disbelief. I didn’t really buy several elements of the book, including this revelation and the appearance of Allie, who looked exactly like Jen. Wondering if she was Jen added a certain amount of suspense, but the situation was too contrived to hold up. Most of the characters weren’t particularly developed.

Although plot of ON BORROWED TIME was somewhat implausible, I did find the premise to be an interesting one. The book did keep me involved, and I did like the protagonist.
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