A blonde model goes to a new tanning salon run by a kind old man. She dozes off, feels some weird pains, and when she wakes up hours later, another blonde looking exactly like her is lying in the next tanning bed. Weird, huh? What would you do? Thus begins Pam Richter's "The Living Image", a tale of a scientist, his fascinating human/chemical computer creation, and his greedy sons trying to sell the model and her clone to a Japanese businessman, the CIA, and the KGB.
Richter's story revolves around Sabrina, the model, and Eve, the clone+computer who not only has inherited her memories and her looks, but also has astonishing strength and incredible healing powers. Sabrina has to not only help Eve learn to overcome her naive-ness and survive, but she has to figure out her relationship with her erstwhile boyfriend and keep her boutique running. Meanwhile we watch Eve discover the world through newly-opened eyes, fall in love, and learn to control her computer-aided powers.
I enjoyed this book, and I liked how Richter explored the topic of cloning, computers, and how we'd react to somebody carrying our same memories. Richter uses a gentle voice, and I enjoyed the pace she set, especially as she ratcheted up the tension toward the end. Some of the side characters seemed a bit cliched, especially the money-hungry lawyers and the Japanese businessman, but I think Richter did this on purpose to make Sabrina and Eve that much more fleshed-out.