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This is a riveting, psychologically sophisticated first novel, based on the actual kidnapping of an Exxon executive in 1992, by an improbable pair of criminals–a middle-aged, suburban husband and wife who had fallen deeply into debt. The kidnappers, Theo and Colleen Wolkoviak, are skillfully drawn, and they bungle their way to disaster through a mixture of bad judgment, monstrous self-absorption, and a thoroughly misplaced sense of entitlement. Theo is blustery, given to self-aggrandizement, and thoroughly unlikable. Colleen is a willing participant in the crime, but she grows increasingly anxious as complications arise. The story is told from several different points of view, which heightens the tension of the story considerably as we move from Theo, to Colleen, to their victim, who struggles mightily in his captivity with doubts about the women he has loved, the life he has led, and the choices he has made.

Recommended for all public libraries.–Patrick Sullivan, Manchester Community-Technical Coll., CT Copyright 1999 Cahners Business Information.