In Memory's Shadow

The Last Two Bachelors

A Stranger is Watching

Mirror, Mirror by Linda Randall Wisdom
(Silh. Int. Mom. #1049, $4.50, PG) ISBN 0-373-27119-0
Sometimes an idea simply too dreadful to contemplate is conceived in an authorís or publisherís mind and then it gets written. I moaned long and loud recently about reviewing a series featuring triplets separated at birth. I talked about how the silly premise got stuck into some decent enough stories and made the endings weird. But things could have been worse. That premise could be the whole point of the story - like in Mirror, Mirror.

Dana Madison gradually discovers someone, somehow is pretending to be her or else she is going crazy. Those are the only explanations she can find for why people she doesnít know come up to her and say they do, why clothing disappears from her closet and jewelry she doesnít own appears. She hires John ďMacĒ MacKenna, a private investigator, to find out what is going on.

Weird stuff is whatís going on. While Dana thinks she is asleep, she is out partying hard in less than reputable places. She must be. Mac has the photos to prove it. Things get more weird. Strange men come up and start grabbing her, telling her she asked them to show up. Then again, Mac grabs her a lot too. Dana becomes more and more confused.

Well, if you had an evil double that you never knew about before, youíd be confused, too. And if your bodyguard is attracted to you while he is confused about the situation, that could get interesting. When you realize someone is trying to take over and ruin your life, that is frightening. But when your evil double turns out to be - No. I canít. I just canít believe it.

Let me see. There are so many holes in this plot I donít know where to start. Her family moved all of 20-30 miles when she was six after they discovered the awful truth - yeah, that should work. No one would ever find out then. And Mac doesnít check out her bank statements or computer for tampering until near the end of the story. Oh, good work, Mr. Hot Shot Private Investigator. By then Danaís credit is in ruins and someone has obviously gone through all her computer files. There is plenty more that is awfully hard to swallow.

Itís too bad. The point where Mac is no longer sure who should be carried off to the mental institution has some good moments. Dana is a pretty cool character who does the right thing most of the time. Mac has his heroic alpha male moments - but then the plot just topples over on the couple and crushes them. It doesnít help that Danaís evil double is too psycho to be believed. For example, the bad character starts clawing at trees when thwarted - which beats some of the things she finds to slash at elsewhere - but is smart and controlled enough to hatch this whole elaborate plot. Plot - plot . . .Thatís it! Maybe the authorís evil double came up with the plot for this story.

--Irene Williams

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