This thoughtful suspense novel from Dawson concerns families, secrets, and the human cost of coffee from El Salvador.
Dawson weaves together multiple time lines and character viewpoints as she conveys the message that the price of coffee shouldn't include death. Publishers Weekly
History professor Lindsey Page has a quiet, well-ordered life, but its about to get complicated. Her daughter, with whom she has a troubled relationship, shows up on her doorstep. The immigrant woman Lindsey is interviewing for a book asks her for help in reclaiming the son taken from her during a massacre in her Salvadoran village. And her closest friends, the three women Lindsey has known since their college days in Berkeley, are hiding secrets that will forever change those friendships.
Lindsey (a friend of Dawsons series PI Jeri Howard, in Witness to Evil) must grapple with questions of family identity, nature vs. nurture, truth in wartime, the ethics of power for latter-day robber barons, and the law of unforeseen consequences. Her friends and family have similar journeys in this sprawling saga, encompassing forty years of tumultuous political, social, and cultural changes and choicescomplete with musical cues at chapter openings. Even the Patty Hearst kidnapping plays a part. Witness accounts of several murders are reminiscent of Rashomon. Along with a riveting story, What You Wish For provides a detailed guidebook to our times, and would be a perfect book club read, especially for Baby Boomers.
Janet Dawsons PI Jeri Howard has sleuthed her way through ten books, the first of which won the St. Martins/PWA Award. She was nominated in 2012 for Left Coast Crimes Golden Nugget Award for Bit Player. Dawson is past president of the MWA Norcal chapter, and works at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. This is her first stand-alone novel.