So you’re a Lost fan and after that amazing season finale you’re on the verge of convulsions having to wait all the way until January for the next season.  Fear not, beach dweller, there is a way to get your fix of the Lost universe without having to waste valuable TiVo hard drive space with by keeping every episode on file. 

Bad TwinFirst a little background on the book. Bad Twin was written by Gary Troupe, who died in the tragic loss of Oceanic Flight 815 somewhere in the Pacific Ocean.

Wait a second… that was on a TV show, not in reality! What’s going on here??? ABC/Disney/ Hyperion Press got my seventeen bucks that’s what!

The book defiantly exists in the Lost universe, and the references in the book reference that universe as well. At various points of Season 2 Lost characters Hurley and Sawyer both read the manuscript found among the luggage around the plane crash.

Ironically up until now this book review has been a loose summary of a TV show.

Bad twin is the story of Paul Artisan a private investigator in New York City who takes on small cases to sustain his meager lifestyle. Usually snapping pictures of disability-claiming workers playing tennis, or spotting trophy wives with the gardener. These small cases are disrupted when Cliff Widmore, a real estate mogul hires Artisan to track down his estranged twin brother.

“Lost” fans will jump at the name Widmore, more on that later.

The search for Xander (short for Alexander) Widmore takes him from Manhattan to the Jersey shipyards, to Key West, Havana, a hippy retreat in California, Sydney and back to New York.

Artisan’s unofficial partner in this quest is his former professor and literature aficionado Manny Wiseman who quotes famous books in regard to the case at hand. If you haven’t noticed yet, the naming convention of the characters is fairly obvious. Wiseman: with all the answers, Artisan: who is performing the act, no I should rather say the art of gumshoeing. But I digress…

Even though I went into this book as simply a Lost fan looking to get my fix among a summer hiatus, I found myself getting into the character, his actions and trying to figure out for myself what exactly happened to Xander Widmore?

Complicating things is the fact that whenever Paul interviews someone they end up dead within forty-eight hours. Now misdirection is a staple of mystery writing, thus sending you down a false path only to bring back to the true path of the mystery in the end.

Yes, that is how every mystery novel is and this is no different. You can’t argue with a formula that works.

This book however also includes a foul mouthed pot-smoking boat builder, a sexy Australian PI and a sweet old man in a sweater with a blind old dog who pushes you closer to the answer you need.

And that is what you need to keep your interest between little clues left in there for the rest of us “Lost” fans.

Hey it’s a pretty good book. Perfect for summer reading, or downloading to your iPod. If you’re not a “Lost” fan then you may not know why things like the Hanso Foundation and Mr. Cluck’s gets some unnecessary mentions.

Now, for all the Lost fans reading this here is what you really want: The “Lost” References in the book:

The Whitmore family hires Paul Artisan to find their estranged brother/son who has gone missing since April 15th (4, 15 – Numbers). Whitmore is also the last name of Desmond’s lost lover. No reference to Penny who’s father’s name is Charles Widmore if you were wondering.

The Hanso foundation has an office on the 42nd (numbers again) floor of the Whitmore Building in New York.

Thomas Middleverk – Hanso Executive, Widmore Board member
Middleverk is mentioned as a recent addition to the Whitmore Board of Directors. He his described as more political and devious than his stately predecessor, Alvar Hanso.

Alvar Hanso
A former member of the Whitmore Board

Mr. Cluck’s
A chicken restaurant where Paul Artisan stops for a quick dinner upon arriving in California. Also where Hurley worked before winning the Lotery.

Cindy Chandler
A stewardess on Oceanic Airlines currently in the “Other’s” captivity. She is also mentioned as the real-life romantic interest of the author.

81516 (8, 15, 16)
The keypad entry to the Whitmore estate, also the twin’s birthdays (August 15th and 16th, born 23 (another member) minutes apart on either side of midnight.

These references don’t really do much to open up any mysteries on the show. They’re also little more than asides to the story, but they were fun little ad-ins for us lostaways.

“Bad Twin” is available at most major book stores, and as an audio book from iTunes.

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