My Real Names is Lisa

David Alexander, Author
David Alexander, Author Carroll & Graf Publishers $21 (288p) ISBN 978-0-7867-0310-4
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Who wouldn't root for a successful young computer-company exec who risks his life to rescue an abused, kidnapped little girl he discovers one day in a convenience store? ""My real name is Lisa"" is the whisper that tips off Peter Howard about the bedraggled child, apparently the daughter of a brutish man who slaps her for talking to strangers. Fearing for Lisa's welfare, Peter confronts the man and, after a vicious fight, rescues the girl. The rest of this button-pushing suspenser by Alexander (Bandit, 1994) turns on Peter's difficulties in trying to get Lisa (who knows her street address, town and phone number, but not her state) home to her parents without calling the cops-who, he fears, will arrest him for kidnapping and will return the child to her tormentors-and without falling victim to the vengeful kidnappers. As his bloody run-ins with the gang pile up, Peter's decision to go it alone seems ever more absurd. The characters remain one-dimensional, though some variety is achieved through the multitude of points of view, including Peter's first-person narration. Readers aren't so much drawn into this story as they are deftly pushed into craving a big photo finish-which arrives on schedule, and with sentiment enough to make stones weep. Film rights to CBS. (June)
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