Comment: McBain's latest book (a departure from his 87th Precinct
detective series) follows one week in the life of Alice Glendenning; a recently
widowed 34-year-old with two young children and a bundle of troubles. Her
eight-year old hasn't spoken since his father disappeared (presumed dead) in a
boating accident eight months before, the insurance company are quibbling over
the payout, and she hasn't made a sale since starting work as a realtor six
months ago. However, things can always get worse, and they do when her children
are abducted from school and held for a ransom of $250,000 - the exact same sum
as the yet to be paid insurance payment. Following instructions, she doesn't
call the police, but her housekeeper does, and soon her home is alive with
surveillance equipment and bumbling detectives, her itinerant brother-in-law, the
dumb blond who ran her over in her car earlier in the day and broke her ankle,
and her sister - all meddling and offering unwelcome advice. Fortunately she has
Charlie Hobbs, her only real friend, to lean on, which is a good thing as a
shocking surprise awaits her.
Alice in Jeopardy scored a hat-trick of starred reviews in Publishers Weekly, Kirkus and Booklist. As Wes Lukowsky, writing for Booklist, puts it, McBain is "always very good, usually excellent, and occasionally transcendent. If this were his first novel, we'd anoint him the next great crime novelist of the new century. But since we have more than 50 years of great work on which to judge him, we'll say instead that he's still at the top of his game."
This review is from the May 22, 2006 issue of BookBrowse Recommends. Click here to go to this issue.
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