Title: My Dead Friend Sarah
Author: Peter Rosch
UK Publication Date: 1st April 2012
Mere months into recovery, Max, an alcoholic with twisted control issues, meets Sarah – the same woman that for years he’s habitually dreamt will die after a botched abduction. “Doing the next right thing,” a popular AA phrase he’s picked up in the rooms, means befriending Sarah long enough to warn her and hope she takes him seriously. But when Sarah falls in love with Max, his newly sober thinking drives him to choose his overly devoted wife, and he abandons Sarah – even when it condemns her to death. When Sarah goes missing, the NYPD suspects Max’s dream may have been a pre-crime confession. The truth, all of it, lurks inside of Max, but only by drinking again does he recapture the nerve and clarity vital to free his wife, sponsor, and himself from a life imprisoned by lies. (From Goodreads, 22nd January 2013)
When I read the blurb for this novel I was excited. I thought this would be a book I would love. However I was wrong. And it pains me to say so. I so wanted to enjoy this book and pushed myself to keep going but it just never clicked for me. Reading through other reviews and the authors note at the back it seems that he is a ‘Marmite’ type – either love it or hate it.
At the beginning we meet Max – he is being questioned by police about the disappearance of Sarah. A disappearance he forced them to take note of before it happened. Max has placed himself in a sticky situation and is now caught in a situation making him rethink his sobriety and life in general.
We take a step into the past, alternating between Sarah and Max, but both are talking from slightly different time points. Both characters have their faults and prolificacy to lie. Max begins to stalk Sarah after he see’s her and recognizes her as the woman from a long standing dream. The build a relationship over a month, which Max puts off, guilt ridden or lying to his wife.
Max lives a life of an alcoholic, visiting AA meetings and lying to those who care for him. We see more of this side of Max in the second part of the novel which is entirely from Max’s point of view. I preferred this half of the novel but was not overawed by it. We wonder about Sarah, what had happened? Will they find her body? Who did it? but to be honest I just felt we were dragged around as Max got himself more and more inebriated and he isolates himself once again.
For me it lacked the excitement the blurb had placed in me, it fell short. I wanted a case, with twists and turns, looking for Sarah, but what I felt I got was the quick spiral back into alcoholism and very little adventure or intrigue.
I’m sorry I didn’t get it.
2 out of 5.