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Why is Audrey James fearful? Why now? Is it because she is getting a divorce? Moving to a run-down house? Possibly succumbing to the stress of her job at the Santa Monica DA’s office? Or is it just something she ate?
Simply because her mother has been in the loony bin for years doesn’t necessarily make it a fait accompli that she will end up there, too. At thirty-five, she figures she has held it together long enough, figures she has missed the boat to schizophrenia. Only now there are a few questions like, what happened to the guy who taped her drywall? Was one of her friends involved?
Having grown up with a mother who often conversed with people who weren’t actually there, Audrey does her best to deny that it could be happening to her. But she begins to question her own experience of reality. Is she seeing what everyone else is? Are the current men in her life—the drywall taper, her ex-husband and his best friend—who they represent themselves to be?
Audrey ponders all of these notions when she is presented with murder, kidnapping and a situation where any or all of her closest friends and colleagues could be involved. How can you know whom to trust when you can’t trust yourself?
Her voyage of self-discovery coincides with her wade through the lies and half-truths woven for self-protection or in self-interest by her friends and acquaintances. When she begins to see that guilt and innocence are as fluid as the riptides, she must finally make a conscious decision to trust. That decision allows her to be at peace with the result of both the mystery and her question of her own mental competence.