Hush

Mark Nykanen, Author St. Martin's Press $23.95 (304p) ISBN 978-0-312-18051-5
A murderous child abuser takes aim at the woman who threatens to expose him in a debut thriller that is long on psychological complexity but short on action. At 38, Oregon art therapist Celia Griswold is having a rough time. At home, the dissolution of her marriage to a halfhearted philanderer is jeopardizing her chances to have a child; at work, while the Bentman Children Center's stiff new director upsets her most reassuring routines, she finds herself falling for a wacky, married colleague. Celia's troubles boil over, and her patience and skill with children are tested, when she begins to work with seven-year-old Davy Boyce. Davy has stopped speaking and started biting--and he's producing mysterious and disturbing artwork that hints at a terrifying crime. Emmy- and Edgar-winning journalist Nykanen uncovers his characters' psyches with wit, complexity and originality. Unfortunately, the plot is creaky, relying on implausible recklessness from the villain and generic scenes of suspense. Nevertheless, Nykanen's attractively unpredictable characters will keep a stubborn hold on readers' attention. (Apr.)
Reviewed on: 03/02/1998
Release date: 03/01/1998
Mass Market Paperbound - 336 pages - 978-0-312-96852-6
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