Wishful Thinking: A Novel of Crime and Suspense

Frank Wyka, Author Carroll & Graf Publishers $15.95 (223p) ISBN 978-0-88184-395-8
Wyka's debut shows he has a talent for characterizations but not yet the expertise for integrating events in a potentially gripping novel. Set in a California coastal town, the story centers on a scheme to kidnap four-year-old Katie Everett, whose father, Carl, promises his employee Tom Baker a handsome sum for his part in the fake crime. Sweet-talking his lover Ann, Tom persuades her to take care of Katie, citing Carl's motive, which is to shock his wife Chloe out of habitual drug use. With Katie in her home, Ann grows ever fonder of the child, and is terrified when Carl is murdered. A modicum of sense would prompt the woman to take the child to the police for safety, and confess. But instead she means to keep Katie, and thus causes more violent deaths and hyped-up clashes on land, on the sea and in the air. More cinematic than credible, the thriller is also burdened by peripheral actors about whom the author tells too little and too much. (June)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1988
Release date: 01/01/1988
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