A surreal comedy of manners that’s also a surprisingly penetrating work of psychological fiction.

READ REVIEW

LOVE CREEPS

A stalkee becomes a stalker and starts to understand its attraction in this off-center romance.

Filipacchi (Vapor, 1999, etc.), not wasting time, opens memorably with “Lynn stalked. She had taken up stalking for health reasons, but it was not paying off as handsomely as she had hoped.” Lynn, it turns out, is a New York gallery owner at the top of her game, with artists fighting to get in her space and her eye for the next big thing being widely acknowledged. But, even so, she’s recently lost her desire to do, well, anything with her life. In the midst of her malaise, she’s picked up a stalker, Alan, an accountant described by a friend as “a short, fat, balding man with blue eyes and a few patches of yellow fuzz” who prefers to think of himself as an “admirer.” A convoluted bit of bad logic later, Lynn has decided that a good way to regain her desire is to become a stalker herself (stalkers have to desire something, right?), and so she picks a man at random in the bakery and starts following him. Alan, not exactly the confident sort, becomes insecure about the object of his admiration stalking someone else and so becomes friends with the man (Roland, a Frenchman of exquisite arrogance). And this is just the beginning of Filipacchi’s roundelay of stalking, affairs and sexual one-upmanship that has Lynn pairing off with Roland (but only after she realizes he’s not attracted to her, making him infinitely more attractive) and Alan joining a stalker recovery group only to start dating someone from the sex addict’s group next door. For all the goofiness of her scenarios—and there’s plenty here that’s full-on farcical—Filipacchi delves into her characters, laying out their insecurities with an honesty that gives the story a special resonance.

A surreal comedy of manners that’s also a surprisingly penetrating work of psychological fiction.

Pub Date: June 1, 2005

ISBN: 0-312-34032-X

Page Count: 288

Publisher: St. Martin's

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2005

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

Another success for the publishing phenom.

UNDER CURRENTS

An abused boy fights back, escapes, then returns as an attorney to his beloved hometown, but just as he’s falling in love with a transplanted landscaper, a series of attacks from shadowy enemies jeopardizes their happiness.

“From the outside, the house in Lakeview Terrace looked perfect.” Which of course means that it wasn't. We're introduced to the horrifying Dr. Graham Bigelow, who beats his wife and, increasingly as the boy gets older, his son, Zane. On the night of Zane’s prom, a particularly savage attack puts him and his sister in the hospital, and his father blames Zane, landing him in jail. Then his sister stands up for him, enlisting the aid of their aunt, and everything changes, mainly due to Zane’s secret diaries. Nearly 20 years later, Zane leaves a successful career as a lawyer to return to Lakeview, where his aunt and sister live with their families, deciding to hang a shingle as a small-town lawyer. Then he meets Darby McCray, the landscaper who’s recently relocated and taken the town by storm, starting with the transformation of his family’s rental bungalows. The two are instantly intrigued by each other, but they move slowly into a relationship neither is looking for. Darby has a violent past of her own, so she is more than willing to take on the risk of antagonizing a boorish local family when she and Zane help an abused wife. Suddenly Zane and Darby face one attack after another, and even as they grow ever closer under the pressure, the dangers become more insidious. Roberts’ latest title feels a little long and the story is slightly cumbersome, but her greatest strength is in making the reader feel connected to her characters, so “unnecessary details” can also charm and engage.

Another success for the publishing phenom.

Pub Date: July 9, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-250-20709-8

Page Count: 448

Publisher: St. Martin's

Review Posted Online: April 14, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 2019

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

A romantic suspense that skillfully balances both elements.

THE DECEPTION

A successful businesswoman hires a smooth-talking bounty hunter to find a lead on her sister’s murder.

Kate Gallagher was the only one available to identify her younger sister Chrissy’s body after she was found dead, having run away from home two years earlier. Since Chrissy succumbed to drugs and turned to sex work to survive, her murder isn't taken seriously by the local homicide department. Kate is filled with grief and regret at not having been there for her sister, and she’s determined to find her killer as a kind of penance. Jason Maddox is the charming man Kate almost hooked up with at a local bar. He also happens to be on the payroll of the most successful investigation company in Dallas. He’s all too eager to help Kate out and spend more time getting to know the blonde he danced with at the Sagebrush Saloon. At first, Kate and Jason vow to keep things professional until the case is solved; there’s obvious attraction that they’re willing to pursue at a later date. But the increasing sense of danger mixed with Kate and Jason’s close proximity proves to be too heady of a combination. The tension never lets up as the pair visit seedy bars and interrogate unsavory characters. With a steamy romance and undeniably hot chemistry, the main characters are well matched. They’re both driven, slightly stubborn, and enjoy the adrenaline rush of catching criminals. Martin (The Conspiracy, 2019, etc.) doesn’t skimp on graphic, violent details as Chrissy’s murder leads her couple to something much bigger: human trafficking. Though not for the faint of heart given its weighty material, this is an un-put-down-able page-turner that’s sure to satisfy fans of romance and thrillers alike.

A romantic suspense that skillfully balances both elements.

Pub Date: Sept. 10, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-335-00769-8

Page Count: 384

Publisher: Harlequin HQN

Review Posted Online: June 17, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2019

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet
more