The rollicking, roundly suspenseful misadventures of a case of stolen gold coins—an impressive move up to the Elmore Leonard-George V. Higgins neighborhood for the author of The Vespers Tapes (1991). When pint-size thief Benny Bean breaks into a South Jersey house he visited once before, together with a girl who inadvertently showed him how to circumvent the alarm, he can't know how many surprises his routine heist will lead to. Surprise #1: he finds a box of gold coins worth $30,000. Surprise #2: as he's leaving, he's held up by a second thief, a Henry Lawrence who gets away with the coins. Benny digs up Lawrence back in Philly, but comes up against #3: Lawrence insists somebody else stole them from him on his way to meet Benny. Benny promptly kidnaps Lawrence's daughter Claire, who (#4) turns out to be the girl from the house, in order to motivate Lawrence to come up with the gold, but discovers (#5) that the coins have somehow found their way into the possession of Benny's gangland boss, loan shark Freddie Whale. Looks like Benny has kidnapped Claire for nothing—except that, meanwhile, he's run into Paul Fante, who's sweet on the girl. So he pushes Paul to come up with the coins, still unaware that Claire's stepfather, the person both Benny and Lawrence went to rob, was (#6) Victor Notte, blood brother of Whale's own boss Ernie Maglio. As Claire fights to escape, and Paul—still shaken from an earlier brush with Whale—teams up with his mob-connected Uncle Rick to get her back, and Benny runs around waving his piece at anybody who looks like they have a line on his gold—well, why give away the next half-dozen surprises? DiBartolomeo impresses whether he's tugging at your heartstrings on behalf of Paul and Claire or making you laugh heartlessly at the casual killing of a mob wife who steps into the wrong room. A delight from the starting-gate felony to the final payoff.

Pub Date: March 24, 1993

ISBN: 0-312-09058-7

Page Count: 288

Publisher: St. Martin's

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 1993

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There are unforgettable beauties in this very sexy story.


Passion, friendship, heartbreak, and forgiveness ring true in Lovering's debut, the tale of a young woman's obsession with a man who's "good at being charming."

Long Island native Lucy Albright, starts her freshman year at Baird College in Southern California, intending to study English and journalism and become a travel writer. Stephen DeMarco, an upperclassman, is a political science major who plans to become a lawyer. Soon after they meet, Lucy tells Stephen an intensely personal story about the Unforgivable Thing, a betrayal that turned Lucy against her mother. Stephen pretends to listen to Lucy's painful disclosure, but all his thoughts are about her exposed black bra strap and her nipples pressing against her thin cotton T-shirt. It doesn't take Lucy long to realize Stephen's a "manipulative jerk" and she is "beyond pathetic" in her desire for him, but their lives are now intertwined. Their story takes seven years to unfold, but it's a fast-paced ride through hookups, breakups, and infidelities fueled by alcohol and cocaine and with oodles of sizzling sexual tension. "Lucy was an itch, a song stuck in your head or a movie you need to rewatch or a food you suddenly crave," Stephen says in one of his point-of-view chapters, which alternate with Lucy's. The ending is perfect, as Lucy figures out the dark secret Stephen has kept hidden and learns the difference between lustful addiction and mature love.

There are unforgettable beauties in this very sexy story.

Pub Date: June 12, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-5011-6964-9

Page Count: 352

Publisher: Atria

Review Posted Online: March 20, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 2018

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The phrase “tour de force” could have been invented for this audacious novel.

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Four men who meet as college roommates move to New York and spend the next three decades gaining renown in their professions—as an architect, painter, actor and lawyer—and struggling with demons in their intertwined personal lives.

Yanagihara (The People in the Trees, 2013) takes the still-bold leap of writing about characters who don’t share her background; in addition to being male, JB is African-American, Malcolm has a black father and white mother, Willem is white, and “Jude’s race was undetermined”—deserted at birth, he was raised in a monastery and had an unspeakably traumatic childhood that’s revealed slowly over the course of the book. Two of them are gay, one straight and one bisexual. There isn’t a single significant female character, and for a long novel, there isn’t much plot. There aren’t even many markers of what’s happening in the outside world; Jude moves to a loft in SoHo as a young man, but we don’t see the neighborhood change from gritty artists’ enclave to glitzy tourist destination. What we get instead is an intensely interior look at the friends’ psyches and relationships, and it’s utterly enthralling. The four men think about work and creativity and success and failure; they cook for each other, compete with each other and jostle for each other’s affection. JB bases his entire artistic career on painting portraits of his friends, while Malcolm takes care of them by designing their apartments and houses. When Jude, as an adult, is adopted by his favorite Harvard law professor, his friends join him for Thanksgiving in Cambridge every year. And when Willem becomes a movie star, they all bask in his glow. Eventually, the tone darkens and the story narrows to focus on Jude as the pain of his past cuts deep into his carefully constructed life.  

The phrase “tour de force” could have been invented for this audacious novel.

Pub Date: March 10, 2015

ISBN: 978-0-385-53925-8

Page Count: 720

Publisher: Doubleday

Review Posted Online: Dec. 22, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2015

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