A radio host clashes with a psychic employed by a family to help find their missing daughter. Graham Wilde is the host of "Wilde Card" on Waves radio in Manchester, England. His producer, Christine, is also his girlfriend, and the station is run by his manager, Paula. Graham agrees to have a psychic, Frank Jasper, on his radio show, and decides to attend Jasper's show at the Palace the night before he is due to appear on "Wilde Card." During the performance, Jasper brings up details of Graham's life that nobody should know, including the fact that Graham's father was abusive, hung him over a railing when he was little, and that Graham's grandfather stuck up for him before his grandfather passed away. Irate and unsettled, Graham receives Jasper on his radio show and, after taking calls from Jasper's faithful admirers, pulls his own trick and tells his listeners about Jasper's past, including an incident where Jasper accidentally stabbed himself in the hand with a knife. Graham knows this because he and Jasper, who hails from Hulme despite the fact that he has affected an American accent and tells people he comes from the United States, went to school together when they were kids - which is also how Jasper knew so much about Graham. Shortly after the show, Graham finds out that Jasper has been employed by a couple to find their missing daughter, Kylie Goodchild. During one of his shows, Graham is interrupted by the appearance of Jasper, the Goodchilds, and Kylie's boyfriend, Wayne. Jasper is using a photograph album to track Kylie's movements, and after Jasper pushes his way into the recording studio, a photograph of Graham falls out of Kylie's album. Wayne threatens Graham and almost makes good on his promise a few days later when he ambushes Graham outside Waves. The pair walk down by a canal, where Wayne threatens Graham again, but is stopped from doing anything when a policeman appears on the path. Graham finds out that he signed the picture for Kylie when her class came to visit Waves, and further learns that the night security guard saw Kylie outside Waves the night she disappeared, but was chased away from the building by a man. A few nights later, Graham is again down by the canal, thinking through some plot points for the novel he is writing, when he sees a pale hand near a drain in the canal. He calls the police, who find the body of Kylie Goodchild. Kylie's father stops by Waves to talk to Graham, and invites him to the funeral. At the funeral, Jasper tells Graham and Christine that the police believe Kylie was murdered, though he swears them to secrecy. As the pastor finishes the service for Kylie, she allows people up to speak. Kylie's father stumbles through a short speech, then Jasper gets up to speak. He claims that Kylie is there at her mother's shoulder, and that the person who killed her works in radio. Wayne turns around and glares at Graham, then confronts him again after the service is over. Graham meets with the police after finding out some more information about Wayne and his father, namely the fact that they basically terrorize their neighbors, and pushes the theory that Wayne killed Kylie. However, the police tell Graham that Wayne was actually in police custody after being arrested the night Kylie disappeared. Graham's listeners begin to turn against him, and his cause is further hindered by a newspaper article that calls for his suspension from work while the police investigate his possible involvement in Kylie's disappearance. Paula and the new owners of Waves suspend Graham, who, in a rage, is confronted by the same reporter who wrote the editorial. After he angrily chases her off, he turns on Christine, who is also beginning to distrust him. He walks to the canal again, where he is attacked by a small gang of men who mention punishment for Kylie. He almost gets away, but one of the men stabs Graham, gouging out his left eye. After that, Graham stays away from Christine, occasionally seeing her in her apartment and in the gym, but ducks out of sight when he sees her. After listening to old tapes of his shows, Graham realizes that a regular caller to "Wilde Card" is Kylie's father. The caller, who often called and went on racist rants, only called once after Kylie's disappearance. Graham confronts Kylie's father and accuses him of killing Kylie when he found out that Wayne's father was black, and manages to keep a line open to the Derek Dennison show on Waves so the entire thing is broadcast over the radio. Kylie's father is arrested, and Graham tries to go back to Christine, only to find that she moved from her apartment. At Waves, Graham tries to see Christine, only to find out that she was struck and killed by a truck on her way to give Graham information about Kylie's disappearance. Graham wonders to himself if he actually is psychic, since he saw Christine several times after she was killed, and starts to brainstorm ideas about a new radio show where he takes calls and helps people with his purported psychic powers.
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Best part of story, including ending:
The story accurately reflects our society - through the lens of British society and radio - where everyone is slow to think and quick to judge. People in the book overwhelmingly support Jasper, despite the fact that any "evidence" against Graham is circumstantial and/or completely fabricated, like Jasper standing up at the funeral to say that Kylie's killer works in radio.
Best scene in story:
I liked the scene where Graham attended Jasper's show, because Graham's thought process reflects my own ideas - that Jasper and the real life people who claim psychic powers and an ability to talk to the dead are nothing more than clever people who fish for information and use their "powers" for their own gain.
Opinion about the main character:
Graham is an obsessive person quick to anger, and he manages to alienate everyone he knows and loves - Christine, his mother, Paula, his coworkers, the bartender at his favorite haunt - when he needs them the most.