Title: On Borrowed Time
Author: David Rosenfelt
Release Date: January 31, 2012
Publisher: Minotaur Books
Genre: Psychological Thriller
Rating: 4 out of 5
Richard Kilmer is thrilled with his life. He enjoys his job as a journalist and is head-over-heels in love with his girlfriend, Jennifer Ryan. He is excited to travel to her hometown in upstate New York to meet her parents, as he is planning on proposing to her while they are there. But when they have a car accident and Jen disappears from the scene, Richard is bewildered. However, it gets worse – no one can remember Jen except Richard. Frantic, he tries to figure out what happened to his beloved girlfriend and questions whether he is losing his mind.
On Borrowed Time is a gripping psychological thriller that will keep readers hooked from beginning to end. Rosenfelt does an admirable job with the plot; it moves very quickly, zipping from one point to another. As a result, the reader never has a chance to fully adjust to what is happening to Richard; Rosenfelt keeps the reader on their toes as they try to guess what really is going on.
From the beginning the reader is aware that there is more happening than meets the eye. Though Richard wonders if he is losing his sanity, the reader knows that isn’t the case. This took away from the novel’s suspense; it would have been better had the reader been in the dark about Richard’s mental state, at least for the beginning of the novel. Instead, the reader knows that something else is going on, and as a result, never wonders about the reliability of the narrator.
Rosenfelt takes some leaps with the plot, and though some of them are difficult to believe, he never veers so far as to lose the reader. He knows exactly what risks he can take while still maintaining some credibility, however thin, and accomplishes them marvelously. As a result, this novel is completely unpredictable and an amazing amount of fun to read. One aspect of the novel that was very unique and doesn’t happen often in thrillers was Richard’s refusal to stay silent. As a journalist, he knew how to exploit his talents to bring attention to his story, and he wasn’t afraid to do so. It put a completely different spin on this novel, making it refreshing.
If you are a fan of psychological thrillers, On Borrowed Time is a must-read. It moves quickly, never giving the reader time to catch their breath. While there are some plot holes, the sheer fun of the story makes them inconsequential. This is a book I enjoyed cover to cover, and I look forward to seeing what Rosenfelt does next.