02/24/1997 at 01:00 AM EST
CBS (Sun., Feb. 23, & Tues., Feb. 25, 9 p.m. ET)
In a small town in Washington State, a boy is abducted while waiting for his mother to pick him up from hockey practice. His captor, nestled in an overstuffed chair and glimpsed only from the side, regards himself as a genius playing sadistic head games with the local folk. He especially relishes matching wits with the state's investigator, a tough, bright woman occasionally hobbled by killer migraines. That round-faced pussycat Valerie Bertinelli is not really right for this part. Helen Mirren she ain't. Angela Lansbury she ain't. Nor would I have cast Harry Hamlin as a police chief with tragedy in his past. Hamlin's emotions come to the surface soooo slowly. You could time an egg.
But the story, based on a novel by Tami Hoag (see page 75), is strong—and sick—enough to work very effectively as a four-hour miniseries. And the large supporting cast is excellent: Martin Donovan as the boy's father, David Marshall Grant as a priest and Tim DeKay as a psychologist. Upstanding citizens all, and all with something to hide.