From Los Angeles Times Book Prize winner Kem Nunn and “principal heir to the tradition of Raymond Chandler and Nathanael West” (The Washington Post)—an intense psychological suspense novel about a San Francisco neuropsychiatrist who becomes sexually involved with a woman suffering from multiple personality disorder, whose pathological ex-husband is an Oakland homicide detective.
A dark tale involving psychiatric mystery, sexual obsession, fractured identities, and terrifyingly realistic violence—Chance is set amid the back streets of California’s Bay Area, far from the cleansing breezes of the ocean. Dr. Eldon Chance, a neuropsychiatrist, is a man primed for spectacular ruin. Into Dr. Chance’s blighted life walks Jaclyn Blackstone, the abused, attractive wife of an Oakland homicide detective, a violent and jealous man. Jaclyn appears to be suffering from a dissociative identity disorder. In time, Chance will fall into bed with her—or is it with her alter ego, the voracious and volatile Jackie Black? The not-so-good doctor, despite his professional training, isn’t quite sure—and thereby hangs his fascination with her. Meanwhile, Chance also meets a young man named D, a self-styled, streetwise philosopher skilled in the art of the blade. It is around this trio of unique and dangerous individuals that long guarded secrets begin to unravel, obsessions grow, and the doctor’s carefully arranged life comes to the brink of implosion.
Amid San Francisco’s fluid, ever-shifting fog, in the cool, gray city of love, Dr. Chance will at last be forced to live up to his name. Chance is a twisted, harrowing, and impossible-to-put-down head trip through the fun house of fate, mesmerizing until the very last page.
Kem Nunn is a third-generation Californian whose previous novels include The Dogs of Winter, Pomona Queen, Unassigned Territory, and Tapping the Source, which was made in to the film Point Break. Tijuana Straits won the Los Angeles Times Book Award. He lives in Southern California, where he also writes screenplays for television and film.