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A MILLION TO ONE

A character-driven story that builds to a dramatic end.

Four young women board the Titanic to steal a rare, gem-studded copy of the Rubaiyat, the classic book of Persian poetry.

It doesn’t take long for Josefa, a thrill-seeking Dublin thief, to select her crew. Croatian Violet, who wishes to reunite with her younger brother at home, has a natural talent for acting and gathering information. Emilie, a skilled painter and forger, is reluctant to take apart the Rubaiyat for profit but is swayed by the thought of using the money from selling the individual jewels to travel to Haiti, her birth country, and visit her deceased mother’s family. Hinnah from Karachi is the youngest of the group, and she’s eager to leave a thankless job at the circus and put her contortionist abilities to better use aboard the Titanic by sneaking through circulation vents and into locked cabins. Stolen tickets and false identities get the four onto the famously unsinkable ship, where they must nab the priceless volume before it arrives in America. While the planning and execution of the heist keep the story ticking along, the action and excitement really escalate in the latter half of the book. Earlier it’s the shifting dynamics between the girls that build tension as brief chapters in alternating perspectives reveal conflicting interests, hidden motives, and mutual pining. A countdown in the chapter headings adds a sense of urgency—will the girls succeed before time runs out?

A character-driven story that builds to a dramatic end. (content warning, author’s note) (Historical fiction. 13-18)

Pub Date: Dec. 13, 2022

ISBN: 978-0-06-291632-7

Page Count: 368

Publisher: Harper/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: Sept. 27, 2022

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15, 2022

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THE REAPPEARANCE OF RACHEL PRICE

Readers will be captivated by this twisty thriller and its uncompromising protagonist.

The mother Annabel Price thought was dead returns with a story about where she’s been—but 18-year-old Bel knows she’s lying.

Ever since Rachel Price’s unexplained disappearance 16 years ago, true-crime fans have come up with plentiful theories about what happened. Bel and her family members, who are white, cobbled together lives for themselves after a jury found Bel’s father, Charlie, not guilty of murdering his wife. Beset with medical bills for his elderly father, Charlie recently agreed to participate in a documentary about the unsolved mystery. Black British filmmaker Ramsey Lee is well into the process of interviewing the Prices when his project gets an unanticipated boost after an exhausted, disheveled Rachel staggers back into town. Rachel is eager to resume her role in the family, but the inconsistencies in her accounts raise alarms for Bel. With the help of the youngest member of the filmmaking team, Bel sets out to learn what really happened. Along the way, someone else disappears, and Bel uncovers a tangle of lies that make it impossible for her to trust people she thought she knew. When things come to a head the night of her grandfather’s 85th birthday party, Bel ends up in a race for her life. The last quarter of the novel tears along at a breakneck pace before arriving at a satisfying and unexpected conclusion.

Readers will be captivated by this twisty thriller and its uncompromising protagonist. (Thriller. 14-18)

Pub Date: April 2, 2024

ISBN: 9780593374207

Page Count: 448

Publisher: Delacorte

Review Posted Online: Feb. 3, 2024

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2024

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LIAR'S BEACH

From the Liar's Beach series , Vol. 1

This scorching glimpse of life (and death) among the moneyed classes hits its marks, if a bit mechanically.

A summertime stay on Martha’s Vineyard confirms everything Linden thinks about rich people.

Best known for emotional YA romances, Cotugno tries her hand at an emotional whodunit—and readers who can roll with the weird attraction her protagonist seems to exert on the two main young women here may find themselves caught up in an engrossing whirl of, as the title promises, lies, secrets, and louche living. Hardly has he arrived for a two-week stay at palatial August House than Michael Linden and his host and boarding school roommate Jasper’s twin sister, Eliza, are bedroom-bound; his ghosted former platonic friend Holiday turns up; and Greg, despised boyfriend of another houseguest, winds up in a coma after an apparent accident. Dragged along by Holiday, who, along with inexplicably letting bygones be bygones, turns out to be an enthusiastic amateur sleuth, scholarship student Linden finds plenty of fuel for his (supposedly) secret resentment of the privileged classes and the way they can get away with anything. Though not, as it turns out after a comfortably conventional denouement complete with surprise confession, murder. Also, as a tease at the end suggests, for all that he comes clean about several secrets of his own, Linden leads the pack in the “things to hide” department. Aside from one prominent supporting character—a brown-skinned lacrosse champion—the central cast reads White.

This scorching glimpse of life (and death) among the moneyed classes hits its marks, if a bit mechanically. (Mystery. 14-18)

Pub Date: May 2, 2023

ISBN: 9780593433287

Page Count: 288

Publisher: Delacorte

Review Posted Online: March 13, 2023

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 2023

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