Reviews & Testimonials

An intricately plotted action-adventure yarn about a Messianic shrink whose plan to create a new Eden on the island of Oahu goes operatically wrong, complete with murder, psychological terror and lots of local color.

When a wheelchair-bound mental patient calls her former psychologist, Dr. Linc Steadman, to warn him of the strange goings-on at Dr. Owen Carter’s Makiki Center clinic, Steadman nearly dismisses her stories as the delusions of a hysteric. Still, there just might be something to her claims. So Steadman—with the help of beautiful journalist Sue Flower—investigates and finds a world of trouble. The charismatic Dr. Carter’s mantra of “Love, Equality, Justice” is all very well in theory, of course, but his techniques for realizing his peculiar design for communal living run to illicit drug use, cultish mind control, forced sex and even microchip implants. When Steadman attempts to expose Carter’s evil deeds, the real fun (for the reader, anyhow) begins. Vivid almost to the point of hallucination, Wild’s novel draws heavily on both his own history as a native Hawaiian and his résumé as a clinical psychiatrist and military intelligence expert. Even at its most surreal (Carter’s zombielike disciples, the madcap chase scenes, a rescue/kidnapping, the ultradramatic final showdown between the two shrinks) the book has a specificity that convinces—much like that classic swinging ’60s shaggy-dog tale, The President’s Analyst, which is just absurd enough to be possible, if delightfully improbable.

Part travelogue, part thriller, part exotic romance.

Kirkus Reviews, Kirkus Discoveries


What others say about Escape from Paradise

“Walter Wild’s new novel takes us into a world we seldom see, and he delivers a fast paced thriller with perilous escapes, daring rescues, and a dramatic foot race across the mountains of Oahu. It’s a thriller driven by ideas, and those are the best kind, because when you turn the last page, you still have something to think about. I strongly suggest you read it.”

William Martin , New York Times bestselling author of the
Back Bay and The Lost Constitution


"Wild writes like a seasoned novelist. His story grips the reader from its first lines of `suspenseful dialog, and it keeps the reader's attention long after the last page, thanks to the thought provoking questions it raises even as it entertains."

Escape From Paradise review by Clarion


"An intricately plotted action-adventure yarn about a messianic shrink whose plan to create a new Eden on the island of Oahu goes operatically wrong complete with murder, psychological terror and lots of local color. Vivid almost to the point of hallucination---part travelogue, part thriller, part exotic romance."

Escape From Paradise review by Kirkus Reviews


'This imaginative action packed thriller--- is a fun, thought-provoking ride that will hold almost any reader's interest from beginning to end."

Escape From Paradise review by Blue Ink Review


Escape from Paradise
Walter F. Wild
Xlibris
978-1-4415-6427-6
Five Stars (out of Five)

Walter F. Wild, a native of Hawaii and former psychologist, gives new meaning to the phrase“trouble in paradise” with his second book and first novel, Escape from Paradise.

Who would want to leave the lush paradise of Oahu? Does something sinister threaten his island home? Psychologist Linc Steadman becomes suspicious when a former client calls him, claiming to be held captive and mistreated at a mental institution called the Makiki Center run by Steadman’s friend, Dr. Owen Carter. Steadman’s attempts to investigate the center are thwarted by Carter, the police, and even the client who called Steadman for help. To get to the bottom of the mystery, Steadman enlists the assistance of investigative reporter Sue Flower. The pair soon uncovers an insidious plot by Carter and his staff to create peace and equality all over the island using mind-control techniques similar to those used at the Makiki Center. Steadman and Fowler find themselves with a three-pronged mission: expose Carter’s dastardly methods to a duped public, dismantle the center, and rescue its patients. Escape from Paradise is a compelling thriller that details the efforts of the due to discover and put a stop to Carter’s plans.

Wild writes like a seasoned novelist. His story grips the reader from its first lines of suspenseful dialogue, and it keeps the reader’s attention long after the last page, thanks to the thought-provoking questions it raises even as it entertains. Wild wonders whether people prefer to be controlled or to be free to make their own decisions, and he questions where the line is between genius and madness. He expertly explores these philosophical conundrums while offering snappy dialogue, developed characters, thrilling suspense, and burgeoning romance.

Every character is multilayered. Linc Steadman is a believable Everyman who becomes a hero as he expresses realistic qualms about and disbelief of damning evidence of his former colleague’s wrongdoing. He often finds himself wanting to trust others, despite whatever misgivings he may have. Wild pits Steadman’s belief that people and systems will do what is best against Carter’s assertion that people must be shown what they want. While Carter is power hungry and unhinged, he clearly believes that his methods are benefitting humanity, giving him more depth than a one-dimensional maniac. His charisma and ability to make the media his mouthpiece call to mind chilling dictators both past and present.

Like Steadman, the story’s supporting players are fleshed out. And Wild introduces readers to Hawaii’s flora, fauna, and culture. Indeed, the native Hawaiian author gives readers a fascinating introduction to his home state, while integrating his tour seamlessly into the plot.

Similarly, the author’s experience as a psychologist lends authenticity to both the moral qualms Steadman faces in opposing his one-time friend as well as Carter’s outrageous methods. Thriller aficionados won’t want to escape from the entertaining paradise that is Escape from Paradise.

- Jill Allen
ForeWord Reviews Clarion Review


What others say about Winning Investment Decisions

Winning Investment Decisions
Walter F. Wild
Xlibris
978-1-4500-7657-9
Four Stars (out of Five)

Books about investing have always been popular, but never more than following the 2008 recession. Since then, the category has burgeoned with volumes by investment experts, each of whom puts a particular spin on ways to protect and preserve one's investments. Walter Wild's Winning Investment Decisions is yet another entry, but it offers something extra that sets the book apart: a lesson in the psychology of investing.

Wild holds both an MBA in finance and a doctorate in clinical psychology, and his book offers readers the benefit of a two-pronged discussion of investment decisions. He begins with a discussion of "psychological hazards and issues" that can affect the way individuals view investment choices. Wild demonstrates how "psychological forces shape the various markets" as people make decisions-not always rationally-to buy or sell. He details the downside of such factors as impatience, greed, fear, and ego involvement. This first section of the book is likely to be eye-opening and extremely valuable to the average investor, who may not realize how much his or her own emotions could impact investment decisions.

Following his treatise on the psychology of investing, Wild describes available investment vehicles and presents a useful dialogue about risks and benefits. He characterizes the relationship of risk to benefits as not unlike the sirens Scylla and Charybdis that Odysseus had to get beyond in his journey to Ithaca. The author writes that "to reach the objective, the risks must be approached. Moreover, the risks may lie in opposite directions. Fleeing one may cause running into the other. Yet the investor has more than two opposing dangers, and casual avoidance of one risk may mean flirting with another. Knowing about the dangerous shoals can be helpful in navigating through the investment waters."

In the second half of the book, Wild offers some practical advice for the investor designed to "preserve and enlarge" savings and income. He talks about the importance of a longterm perspective, identifies ways to minimize risk, discusses how to optimize benefits, and lays out some basic criteria for stock selection. The author backs up his recommendations with specific examples as well as charts showing, over time, the rate of inflation and the Dow Jones Industrial Average. He addresses investment priorities for the stages of life but only briefly; in fact, this is one area that is somewhat lacking and deserves expansion.

Wild's goal was to write a book for the average investor and to "equip them to take charge of their own financial future." The author does an admirable job of fulfilling that objective. The book is well organized, carefully researched, clearly written, and instructive. As a psychologist with solid investment knowledge, Wild's approach is just different enough to make Winning Investment Decisions stand out from a crowd of similar titles.

- Barry Silverstein
ForeWord Reviews Clarion Review


Winning Investment Decisions
Walter F. Wild, Ph.D.
Xlibris
978-1-4500-7657-9
Reviewed: November 2012

Winning Investment Decisions by Walter F. Wild is a comprehensive guide to the conceptual theory and basic practice of investing for novice investors. It will surprise readers to know that Wild is not a practicing investment professional, but instead a clinical psychologist who has made management and advisement of investment portfolios a lucrative side activity. But this fact shouldn't deter readers: Wild has extensive and complete knowledge of the financial world - and the human relationship to it.

Winning Investment Decisions is divided into five parts that cover the psychology of investing, basic investment concepts, the relationship of risk to benefit, strategy, and market outlook. Wild's writing style is direct, academic, and impersonal. The closest the reader gets to a peek at the man behind the text is a lyrical passage in Chapter 6 that likens taking financial risk to Odysseus's experience with Scylla and Charybdis, and poetically waxes that "Knowing about dangerous shoals can be helpful in navigating through the investment waters."

The overview of basic investment concepts, market conditions, and terminology is a must-read for any financial laymen. However, the truly insightful content comes in the first part on the role human psychology plays in investing and how markets work. Wild is truly in his element as he examines common psychological myths and perspectives that influence how people make investment choices, such as conformity, irrationality, confirmation bias, and impatience.

The bottom line on Winning Investment Decisions is that while it isn't the most stylistically charming text, it is a well researched and comprehensive investment book that not only provides solid knowledge for the new investor, but also worthwhile psychological insights for the seasoned financial guru.

Also available in hardcover and ebook.

Blueink Review


"The book is well organized, carefully researched, clearly written, and instructive. As a psychologist with solid investment knowledge, Wild's approach is just different enough to make Winning Investment Decisions stand out from a crowd of similar titles."

Winning Investment Decisions review by Clarion


"Wild, a psychologist with an MBA from Stanford, aims to help amateur investors navigate this minefield, showing how a few simple principles toward minimizing risk, enhancing benefits, and preserving peace of mind. --the practical overview proficiently handles key concepts every investor should know."

Winning Investment Decisions review by Kirkus Reviews


"The overview of basic investment concepts, market conditions, and terminology is a must read for any financial laymen. However, the truly insightful content comes in the first part on the role human psychology plays in investing and how markets work. Wild is truly in his element as he examines common psychological myths and perspectives that influence how people make investment choices, such as conformity, irrationality, confirmation bias, and impatience."

Winning Investment Decisions review by Blue Ink Review


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