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Frank O'Keeffe
Victoria (B.C.), Beach Holme Publishers,
1993. 184pp, paper, $5.95, ISBN 0-88878-34-6 CIP

Grades 5-7 / Ages 10-12

Reviewed by Anne Louise Mahoney

Volume 22 Number 3
1994 May/June

In Weekend at the Ritz, Frank O'Keffe's fifth novel, a lot of improbable things happen. Bobby Spezzactena (Spazz), a high school student who looks like Billy T Banko, the lead singer of a popular heavy metal band, is asked to impersonate Billy T by staying at the Ritz Hotel while the real Billy T sneaks off to get married. Spazz's best friend Kevin, acts as his roadie. But Spazz is too successful at impersonating his idol; the two boys, along with their friends Lauren and Debbie, are kidnapped by the members of an unknown band, who hold them for ransom.

The plot is far-fetched, but it has potential. Unfortunately, it falls apart when, after a day or so, the kidnappers just decide to let the captives go. Any tension in the story evaporates, and the reader is denied the satisfaction of seeing the teenagers escape . The loose ends in the story are tied up, but it's too late to save the novel.

On a technical note, punctuation is sloppy, especially in the dialogue.

Anne Louise Mahoney is an Ottawa Editor

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