By the Book @ Rogers Memorial Library

Talk Talk by T. C. Boyle

Dana Halter is running late one morning.  She has a dentist appointment and then has to get to work, which is why she runs a stop sign.  When she gets pulled over by a policeman, she figures she will apologize, get a ticket, and get on with her day.  So when the policeman disappears into his car, then reappears with his gun drawn to put her in handcuffs, she knows that something isn’t right and that she will be missing her dentist appointment.

Talk Talk, by T.C. Boyle is a literary thriller with both an unconventional victim and villain.  Dana Halter is a teacher who has never been in trouble with the law.  She is also deaf.  Her boyfriend, Bridger Martin, creates digital special effects for B-horror movies.  The day the cops arrest Dana, Bridger races to the police station to explain that Dana is squeaky clean and that there must be a misunderstanding due to her deafness.  But it is not a misunderstanding.  Dana is the victim of identity theft, and now has warrants out for her arrest in multiple states.  The man who stole her identity goes under a number of aliases.  He is not your run-of-the-mill bad guy, as he is a foodie who once owned an Italian restaurant.  He desperately misses his estranged daughter and keeps his real identity from everyone — including his live-in girlfriend. He now goes from victim to victim, using their money to support his lifestyle of fancy food, fine wine, fast cars and expensive clothing.

When the story begins to unravel and enough evidence is supplied to prove Dana innocent, she is released from jail, but the police claim they cannot investigate any further.  Enraged and embarrassed, Dana decides to track down the man responsible for her problems herself.  Bridger stays by her side, and the two of them follow the culprit across the country — from California to New York.

While Talk Talk is a thriller, it is foremost a thoughtful and literary book with 3D characters.  T.C. Boyle explores the themes of communication, family, relationships, and deaf culture in this well-written and accessible work of suspense.  Talk Talk is available in both book format or book on CD, which is competently read by the author.

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