The Disappearance of Lyndsey Barratt: A Psychological Thriller

John E. Wilson, Author
John E. Wilson, Author William Morrow & Company $24 (384p) ISBN 978-0-688-15280-2
Reviewed on: 12/29/1997
Release date: 01/01/1998
British novelist Wilson uses pungent humor and high-energy dialogue to inject life into the rather derivative plot of his American debut, in which a young woman exacts revenge on the British boarding-school cricket team who have gang-raped her sister. Lyndsey Barratt is the unfortunate high-school honors student whose life is forever changed by the assault, and her misfortune is compounded by a police cover-up intended to protect her attackers. When the convalescing Lyndsey disappears from the hospital, the case against the boys quickly unravels--until engaging, affable detective Frank Illiffe and TV reporter Julie Adams notice that the cricket team members have begun to die in a series of highly coincidental ""accidents."" Their investigations lead to Lyndsey's sister, gorgeous, sexually sadistic Linda Marshall, and the seemingly unwitting computer programmer whom Linda uses to gain access to her victims. Wilson keeps his narrative racing with a fast pace, witty dialogue and some inventive, if creepy, plot twists, and the surprise ending comes off with plenty of crackle and snap. Although he occasionally substitutes bed-hopping for character development among the secondary members of his cast, his flair for titillating scenes makes for an entertaining read. (Jan.)
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