St. Martin's, May 2002, 6.99, 352 pp.
Eight co-workers including Jim Hodene win the Powerball lottery of eighty-seven million dollars. Jim knows that his victory insures the financial present and future for his family, making them secure beyond their wildest dreams. Though the constant solicitations bug Jim and Wendy, she is particularly pleased to see her dream of expanding their house begin.
Zina Hayward insists that the lottery winner shown in the newspaper is her runaway husband Jimmy. Her brother Zack Tompkins thinks Zina is nuts as she has been since Jimmy left her and she began collecting the stray cats. Now he thinks she has gone even deeper into the loony bin with this wishful thinking about the lottery winner. Unable to dissuade her from her belief and worried about her mental state, Zack agrees to check out whether the lottery winner is his missing brother-in-law. To stealthily accomplish this task, Zack accepts a job with the Hodene house construction crew. As Zack begins to uncover the truth, Wendy also learns new ugly things about her spouse who is not the paragon she though he was. However, what she learns may prove deadly.
Antoinette Stockenberg shows her ability to provide a powerful suspense thriller with the exciting SAND CASTLES. The characters are a superb group especially the key foursome whose motives feel real even those of Jim and Zina. Though the plot is filled with twists and turns, readers will know what is going to happen next, but will not mind at all. Fans of taut thrillers with a pinch of romance will want to read Ms. Stockenberg's strong intrigue.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner