John and Ruby Bodine are living the typical American life. John is trying to launch his online game, One World, and Ruby is a struggling college student. John has also finally emerged from a deep depression after an incident that happened during a mountain climb with his buddies. A trip that left one of them dead and the two survivors just learning to cope with what they had to do. Even though John and Ruby struggle to live day to day, their love is the shiny beacon guiding them to what they know their future can be. Then one day, John discovers a strange patch of skin on Rubys foot that sets into motion something they never planned on.
Ruby has an aggressive form of cancer and there is only one treatment. Unfortunately the generic version is unavailable and their current insurance wont cover the name brand. John feels he has only one option, steal the identity of one of his gamers whose insurance will cover the treatment. He finally finds the perfect one, Elliot and Tanya Uretsky. They pack up and leave their life behind and begin to live their new life as the Urteskys.
One day John gets the phone call that he could never dream would happen. The caller says, My name is Elliot Uretsky, and I believe you stole my identity. Elliot wants to play a game called Criminal and he wants John and Ruby to be the main players. They can continue using his insurance but they have to pass his tests. They start out easy and John and Ruby think that it is all a prank and they decide not to play this fiends game. That is when the bodies start to show up, brutally murdered, they know this guy means business. From here till the end is a tale of suspense and terror. The things that Elliot makes this couple do will blow your mind.
Daniel Palmers mind is something I would not want to be living in but I am thankful he is able to put it to paper. Even though this couple commits insurance fraud and as the game goes on some pretty devious things, you as a reader start to cheer for them to somehow win and outsmart the devious villain. Every page is a new twist thrown into the plot and the storyline keeps you on the edge of your seat wondering how far John and Ruby will go. Palmer has really outdone himself in his third novel and has solidified himself among some of the great mystery/thriller writers, in my opinion. I know he isnt going anywhere and I look forward to what his next project will be.
(ARC was provided by publisher in exchange for an honest review)