Wallflower: A Janek Novel

William Bayer, Author, P. Gethers, Editor Villard Books $20 (0p) ISBN 978-0-679-40047-9
Bayer brings back Switch protagonist Frank Janek in this uneven thriller with close parallels to Thomas Harris's Red Dragon. Celebrated NYPD lieutenant Janek is called home from vacation--and a pleasant romantic entanglement--after his goddaughter is found stabbed to death and sexually mutilated in Central Park, the latest victim of a serial killer. Devastated and determined to find the killer, Janek is kept off the case because of his personal involvement and because the matter is now under FBI jurisdiction. He gets around these obstacles by means of his old amorous ties to his boss, Kit Kopta, and the clout of his success in the Switch case--a reference Bayer makes too often. Early revelation of the slayer's identity is likely to disappoint readers, who may also be put off by gratuitous descriptions of gruesome murders. A potentially tricky ending doesn't live up to its promise, and while occasional passages display the animated, original writing style of Bayer's earlier books, this yarn is far too tidy to captivate. (July)
Reviewed on: 06/03/1991
Release date: 06/01/1991
Genre: Fiction
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