by David Ambrose
Book Review by Amy Coffin
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George Daly is a writer in the process of researching a book on phenomena of coincidence and synchronicity. Upon his father's recent passing, George finds an old photograph of himself as a 10 year-old boy posing with a man and woman. Try as he might, George has no idea who these people are and can't remember ever taking a picture with them. A magazine article with the photo naming the pair as Jeffrey Hart and Lauren Page provides no further recollection.

Curiosity gets the best of the author and he hires an investigation agency to locate the unknown couple. Unbeknownst to George, his inquiry begins a chain of unbelievable coincidental events.

Daly has a twin brother he never knew he had named Larry Hart, who is the child in the photograph. This remarkable coincidence isn't as innocent as it seems. Larry has some big secrets. By delving into the remarkable event that brings the brothers together, George Daly is putting his own life in danger.

David Ambrose's second novel is told from the perspectives of its three main characters: George, his wife Sarah, and his brother Larry. Coincidence may appear to be a story of good twin vs. evil twin, but nothing could be further from the truth.

This unusual tale starts slowly. George examines the possibility of coincidence from several angles. The speed picks up with Larry's introduction. It's no secret he's a bad guy. His revealed intentions get the story cooking.

At this point, Coincidence could have successfully developed into a standard tale of assumed identity, murder and suspense. However, Ambrose pushes the envelope to write a bizarre novel that questions the existence of parallelism and life as we know it.

The "truth" revealed at the height of the plot is very extraordinary. To comprehend the theories Ambrose proposes readers must use logic, reason and a little fantasy. (Honestly, this was hard for me as I am used to typical fiction with predictable plots. It's not often that I have to think about what I am reading.)

This complex tale plays out like a classic episode of the Twilight Zone. Thoughts of a parallel universe, a super-computer with much more capability than Internet access, and characters unsure of their own existence give readers the feeling that they, too, were written into a Rod Serling script.

Readers who enjoy science sprinkled on their fiction should enjoy Coincidence. Staunch realists will struggle with the proposed questions and fates of the characters. For maximum enjoyment, open your mind and accept that anything is possible.

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Also by
David Ambrose:


The Discrete Charm of Charlie Monk
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Chasing the Dime
by Michael Connelly