Tuesday, May 10, 2011

The Living Image / P.M. Richter

Reviewed by: BigAl

Genre: Thriller/Suspense/Science Fiction

Approximate word count: 125-130,000 words

Availability Kindle: YES    Nook: YES    Paper: NO
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It seems like I’m detecting a pattern in author bios. They have all had many different and often unrelated jobs. In P.M. Richter’s case she worked as a bunny at the San Francisco Playboy Club while getting her degree in Psychology from Northridge State University. Since then she’s been a dance instructor, a property manager, a real estate agent, and let’s not forget an author.


Fashion designer Sabrina Miller falls asleep at a tanning salon and wakes up face to face with her double. Sabrina names her Eve (for all the obvious reasons) and discovers she is a clone with enhancements. While sharing the same DNA, Eve is physically much sturdier and stronger. A computer implanted in her brain and loaded with Sabrina’s memories makes her smarter, at least in pure knowledge. Things get dicey for both when the CIA, KGB, and a Japanese businessman all decide they want the technology used to create Eve for their own uses.


The Living Image, at its core, is a generic - but well executed - thriller. Multiple organizations want Eve, and the protagonist’s goal is to avoid any of them getting her. Unofficial ties between the organizations add complexity and dimension to the basic plot.

What makes the story unique is the development of the relationship between Sabrina and Eve along with the way Eve changes, becoming “more human,” as the story progresses. Imagine trying to understand why someone reacts to the world the way they do if you have no understanding of emotions and don’t experience them yourself. Put yourself in the place of Sabrina’s boyfriend Mark who suddenly has a person who looks like his girlfriend and shares all her memories. How would you react when you realize this interloper knows the details of all the intimate experiences you and your girlfriend have shared?

This book could have used another round of proofing before publication. The issues I saw are all minor, using the word “suite” instead of “suit” or “marshall” instead of “martial” are two examples I found twice each. Although I found many of these type errors, well over the threshold where I assume it won’t impact the reading experience, for me the kinds of errors and frequency were not so bad as to continually jolt me out of the story and had minimal impact on my reading enjoyment.

Format/Typo Issues:

This book had a large number of typos and wrong words.

Rating: **** Four stars

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