"The Double Bind", by Christopher A. Bohjalian. Shaye Areheart Books, c2007.

Wow! Had no clue, when I selected this book, that it would be a two-fer. The jacket blurb said it draws strongly from Fitzgerald's "The Great Gatsby", which I had not read, so I read it first. Good thing! Bohjalian seamlessly integrates the Gatsby characters and setting into his novel, and then delivers a double-whammy at the end that caught me flat-footed.

Laurel works in a homeless shelter, and because of her interest in photography, she is given a box of old photos and negatives when one of the shelter's clients dies. The mandate was to perhaps mount an exhibit that could become a fund-raiser. However, among the photos is one that triggers flashbacks recalling an incident in which she was attacked and very nearly raped while riding her bike on a mountain trail, and she becomes obsessed with finding out more about the man who took the picture.

Bohjalian presents the delusional world of mental illness so cleverly and convincingly, that the novel's end caught me completely unprepared. I had to go back and re-read whole sections to see how I could possibly have misread all the clues! And of course, upon re-reading after learning the outcome, the layers of the back story were clearly apparent. On the whole, a sobering read that illustrates the power of the mind when dealing with trauma.