Nightwatcher

Charles Wilson, Author
Charles Wilson, Author Carroll & Graf Publishers $17.95 (263p) ISBN 978-0-88184-638-6
Reviewed on: 12/01/1990
Release date: 12/01/1990
Wilson's debut--a neat mix of mystery, police procedural and terror--marks him as someone to watch. On the night three men escape from a Mississippi insane asylum, a young nurse is raped and murdered just outside the grounds. Her lawyer father, Brandon Richards, arrives at dawn, mourning Judith and bent on revenge. It soon becomes clear that the escapees are not responsible, mainly because their blood types do not match that found on the scene. But the blood is the type of Judith's estranged bisexual husband, whose boyfriend may supply an alibi. Richards teams up with Sheriff Tidmore and hires private eye J. J. Winstead (not known for legal niceties) to track down the killer. Complications proliferate: a psychopathic mass murderer says he saw the killer from his cell; the boyfriend is slain; Richards is arrested for trying to plant evidence in his son-in-law's home; tales of Judith's risky extramarital affairs cause Richards to doubt his new ``friends'' Tidmore and Winstead; and there are three more killings. The case is tied up neatly, but not before Wilson had led us on a complicated, occasionally harrowing chase. (Dec.)
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