WHEN THE WIND BLOWS by Zachary Alan Fox

WHEN THE WIND BLOWS

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KIRKUS REVIEW

A man’s search for his biological parents leads to multiple murders by multiple murderers in this overheated, overlong thriller. Mark Ritter, stockbroker and single parent (his wife was killed in an auto accident) receives a bad-news phone call one night: his widowed mother has died. Back home to Dexter, South Dakota, goes Mark to bury her. In the process of closing up the Ritter family farmhouse, he comes upon a key that leads him to a safe-deposit box, definitely of the Pandora variety. In it, he discovers evidence that the Ritters were not his real parents, who seem to have come not from Dexter but from a town in Colorado by the name of Harmony. Forget stockbrokering. Mark, whose emotional range swings on an arc that includes sullen, petulant, and near- hysterical, is determined to find out who his parents are. And he has to know now. So off he goes again, with seven-year-old Lisa in tow. (Never mind school, either.) In Harmony, everybody lies to Mark, not so surprising, since Mark’s approach to investigation is of the aggressive sort. Answer wrong, and you might get your nose punched. Nevertheless, Harmony—a misnomer if ever there was one—proves rife with wrong answers. And wrong people. There are brutal cops, greedy entrepreneurs, promiscuous babes, rich and powerful perverts, all with secret agendas. Mark continues to buttonhole everyone in the community, and dead bodies, as a result, become commonplace, though each appears to belong to a different murderer. When at last Mark tracks down his birth mother, she behaves in a way readers may find understandable. Flat characters, kitchen-sink plotting. And some of the writing is painfully inept—as this from a woman whose former husband has just fired a bullet into her chest: “We were married! Didn’t that mean anything?” After Fox’s well-received debut (All Fall Down, 1997), better was expected. ($150,000 ad/promo)

Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 1998
ISBN: 1-57566-335-X
Page count: 442pp
Publisher: Kensington
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15th, 1998




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