cover image What You Wish For

What You Wish For

Janet Dawson. Perseverance (SCB, dist.), $15.95 trade paper (288p) ISBN 978-1-56474-518-7

This thoughtful suspense novel from Dawson (Bit Player and nine other titles in her Jeri Howard PI series) concerns families, secrets, and the human cost of coffee from El Salvador. San Francisco academic, single mother, and author Lindsey Page reluctantly agrees to help her research subject, Flor Cooper, look for her long-lost son. Flor believes her baby son, Efraín, was among the few survivors of a massacre in their El Salvador village of coffee-estate workers in 1989—and that she has seen Efraín, now grown and resembling her late husband, at the Berkeley Farmers Market. Meanwhile, a college friend of Lindsey’s, Annabel, is recovering from a stroke in the midst of a power play at Annabel’s family business, a coffee importer. The return home of Lindsey’s semi-estranged daughter, Nina, further complicates matters. Dawson weaves together multiple time lines and character viewpoints with only a few contrivances as she conveys the message that “the price of coffee shouldn’t include death.” (Sept.)