cover image Nuclear Winter Wonderland

Nuclear Winter Wonderland

Joshua Corin, . . Knati, $15.95 (275pp) ISBN 978-1-60164-160-1

Striking the right tone in a comedy-thriller can be tough, as Corin's disappointing debut shows. Adam Weiss, a University of Michigan fraternity boy, is driving home to New Jersey with his twin sister, Anna, when a stop at a rest area turns the trip into a disaster as an elderly man who calls himself Ebbets kidnaps Anna. Adam later encounters a state cop who ignores the tale of Anna's abduction, a female Spanish clown and an old drunk. Soon the cop is dead and Adam, the old drunk and the clown are on the run. Adam contacts Ebbets, who tells Adam he's hidden 12 atomic bombs and intends to blow them up on Christmas eve. Adam spends the rest of the novel chasing Ebbets in an attempt to save the world and free his sister. While readers don't expect absolute realism in their thrillers, they do demand that the plot makes sense and follows at least elementary rules of logic. In his relentless search for humor, Corin misses both of these targets. (Oct.)