The Rule of Stephens
"The significance of being a survivor, in the case of Air France Flight 801, for a long time lay in the simple fact that there should have been no survivors."
Catherine Bach did survive, barely suffering a scratch. She hates the word "miracle," yet it feels that way at first. She returns to life as it was before the plane went down. The biotech startup she'd built from an idea to a multi-million dollar valuation continues its meteoric rise. But then things begin to go very wrong. Glitches in tests that are meant to run smoothly, design delays, security breaches, impatient investors. Catherine has a growing sense that her good fortune is spent, that the universe might be betting against her.
And then comes the late-night call, from one of the other survivors. He has a story to tell, a warning he says, about his own troubles, a life in ruins, his luck run out. And all at the hands, he insists, of a mysterious other, resembling him perfectly right down to the features of his face.
Madness, Catherine thinks. Or she tries to think as a mystery hedge fund launches a takeover attempt, run by a woman nobody seems to know but who is said to bear an uncanny resemblance . . . to Catherine. Catherine has always believed in an ordered, rational world--more Stephen Hawking than Stephen King. But with her life at the brink, she cannot shake the feeling that her "Rule of Stephens" may no longer hold.
Writing with stinging precision about the knife-edge balance between what is known and what is believed, Timothy Taylor bridges the divide between literary fiction and page-turning thriller in this psychological tale of guilt, doubt and doppelgangers.
A Globe and Mail most anticipated book of the first half of 2018...
"Taylor has composed a tightly-crafted, suspenseful story, and one that smartly plays off the disjunction between the rational world of Stephen Hawking and the “lower and darker land” of Stephen King and related pop-culture references such as the movies Unbreakable and Final Destination. In his hands this binary translates into a conflict between the realm of science and high-stakes corporate finance and an alternative reality of supernatural doubles..."
— Alex Good, Toronto Star