"A poignant romance anchored by a rich cast of characters and detailed setting, which will likely appeal to fans of historical fiction."– Kirkus Reviews
In Tag’s historical romance, a Japanese-American woman unravels a closely guarded family secret and discovers the depths of her mother’s love.
For Kazuko Armstrong and her younger brother, Patrick, October 2000 is a time of great sadness. Their father, James, is in the final stages of Alzheimer’s disease and their mother, Keiko, has suffered a debilitating stroke. Despite their grief, the siblings take great comfort in their parents’ love, which has endured despite many hardships and tragedies. Keiko Tanaka and James Armstrong grew up in Bellevue, Washington, and became engaged shortly after the Japanese bombing of Pearl Harbor. They married just before the Tanaka family was sent to a series of internment camps, including the Tule Lake Relocation Center in California, and James enlisted in the U.S. Navy. Kazuko was born at Tule Lake, and the Armstrong family wouldn’t be reunited after the end of the war. During the Tanakas’ internment, they suffered the loss of Keiko’s twin sister, Misaki, and older brother, Masao. Years later, with Keiko on her deathbed, a surprise visitor provides Kazuko with an intriguing connection to her family’s past. Tag successfully combines the story of James and Keiko’s romance with a compelling mystery. The parallel narrative skillfully weaves Kazuko’s modern-day story with Keiko’s experiences in the early 1940s, resulting in a fully realized portrait of both women and their families. The tale is further enriched by its well-developed supporting characters, including Keiko’s parents, Akemi and Isamu; and Takeo Sato, Misaki’s fiancé at Tule Lake. Tag handles the central theme of the internment of Japanese-Americans during World War II in a forthright, sensitive manner, presenting a variety of viewpoints on the moral and ethical issues involved. The Tanaka, Armstrong and Sato families have very different responses to life in the camps, and as the story develops, Tag shows how the children are affected by their parents’ points of view.
A poignant romance anchored by a rich cast of characters and detailed setting, which will likely appeal to fans of historical fiction.
In Tag’s (Category 5, 2005, etc.) thriller, a scientist learns that Nazis are planning a return to power with an attack of worldwide proportions—and that her family in Colombia may be behind it all.
Linda Kipling’s father, on his deathbed, relays shocking news: Linda’s family fled Germany at the end of World War II. Her father was unaware of the true atrocities of the Nazi regime, but her uncle Friedrich certainly wasn’t, based on letters he’d written to Kipling’s mother. Friedrich has apparently been plotting a Nazi “comeback” for some years. Kipling makes cousins Dieter and Axel Müller nervous when she flies to Cartagena, Colombia, to see what they might know about Friedrich’s purported plan; clearly, she’s onto something big. She and Victor Silverstein, her boss at the Naval Research Laboratory in California, connect the Nazi scheme to missing NRL researchers in Greenland and a couple of NRL scientists murdered in the U.S. Friedrich’s letters hint at the plan’s catastrophic goal, and global warming may not be as natural an occurrence as people believe. It may seem that the author is setting up a preachy environmental message on climate change, but he instead dishes out a solid thriller rife with action and suspense. Parts are reminiscent of a murder mystery, as Capt. Jane Stigler of the Federal Center for Data Examination, whose former well-respected boss was one of the people killed, investigates the murders with technical director Andrew Peters. Other scenes smolder with tension, like Kipling’s trying to escape the Müllers’ compound after realizing that her cousins are no longer interested in letting her live. Anticipation is at full steam for most of the story: Dieter and Axel, who are, at least for readers, indisputably the villains, have a Plan B should their Greenland operation be discovered, and it’s even more ominous than what’s already taking place. A few of Kipling’s actions are questionable: She’s smart enough to avoid going to the NRL or home when she’s being trailed by an assassin, but she rather foolishly keeps her cellphone on—a beginner’s mistake in this day and age. Still, Kipling’s a worthy protagonist, and she and Silverstein, featured in Tag’s prior novels, may earn new fans.
Global warming is a mere plot device for this substantial thriller.