NIGHT VISION by Ronald Munson


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 Evidently, Munson (Fan Mail, 1993, etc.) can't get enough of the twisted-obsession angle he's used to construct previous thrillers. This time, his villain is a necrophiliac computer geek with a taste for starlets, and the story is disappointing. But what a fabulous sicko! Tom Gibson, a.k.a. Cyberwolf (the superhacker's nom de guerre), devises an elaborate plot to kidnap actress Susan Bradstreet from the sanitarium in Boston where she has gone, on the advice of psychiatrist David Hightower, to recover from an anxiety disorder. Once she's in his hands, Cyberwolf intends to ransom millions from the company producing Susan's new film. Of course, before turning over his beautiful hostage, Cyberwolf has nefarious designs on her body, which will be lifeless by the time he's finished. Cyberwolf works neither alone nor without substantial insurance: Juan Cortez, a digital flunkie with gambling debts, and Elmer Whipkey, a gun dealer dipped in criminal grease, supply his extra muscle, while a customized computer program named Chernobyl lurks in cyberspace to take out the entire East Coast communication grid, thus supplying the authorities with added incentive to do things his way. David Hightower, however, has taken far more than a professional interest in Susan--he's in love with her and determined to see that she's rescued. Jetting from L.A. to Beantown, he encounters the usual collection of ineffective cops and resorts to staging his own one-man commando raid. The shrink can swing a shotgun and hurl knives with surgical accuracy. Still, he's up against the challenge of his life in Cyberwolf; only through teamwork with the notably resourceful Susan does he arrive at the final showdown, and even then it may be too late to solve the riddle of Cyberwolf's secret computer chamber. An attempt at a Thomas Harris/William Gibson salad that lacks the former's pulp grossness and the latter's technical byte.

Pub Date: March 13th, 1995
ISBN: 0-525-93781-1
Page count: 336pp
Publisher: Dutton
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1st, 1994


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