263 pages
ISBN 0-7701-0303-0





Reviewed by Albert Stray

Al Stray is manager of the Port Credit Public Library.


Spanning 16 years in the life of two brothers, the scene shifts from a small town in Texas to the jungles of Viet Nam and finally to Houston. As the story opens, Nick and Daley Ringer are ten and eight, respectively. Years of abuse from a mother who hates them turns Nick into a sadistic killer. Initially his victims are the pets of neighbours.

Years later the two brothers find themselves cut off from their unit in war-torn Viet Nam. Three enemy soldiers stand between them and escape. Nick’s garroting wire saves them, but his mind becomes a victim of his own brutality. Their escape is followed by a year of therapy for Nick in a veterans’ hospital. Declared fit, he rejoins Daley in Houston.

Recurring nightmares do not bode well for Nick’s life in the city. Nor does the fact that Daley has a live-in girl friend. Rejected by his mother earlier, Nick now feels rejected by his brother. Six months later the first victim of Wireman, an eleven-year-old boy, loses his head. The grieving lone parent, Jack De Shane, seeks solace in the arms of a prostitute, thus beginning a series of implausible coincidences.

De Shane, a police officer, teams up with his neighbour, a retired cop, to track down his son’s killer. They do what the rest of the Houston Police Department can’t: they find Wireman — but not before five more people have been decapitated. Nick is a killer, and the author has prepared us for what he becomes; she hasn’t prepared us for what Daley becomes. Shades of Fatal Vision.

Mosiman’s characterization of the males in the story brings them to life. We can feel sympathy for a ten-year-old abused child and revulsion at what he has become. The women generally are stereotypes. Gore and liberal doses of the F-word limit the book’s appeal. But if you are a fan of such movies as Friday the 13th and The Texas Chain Saw Murders, then you will probably enjoy Wireman.


Mosiman, Billie Sue, “Wireman,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed June 23, 2024, https://cbra.library.utoronto.ca/items/show/37163.