From the first page, Logan’s thrilling debut novel is an intelligent, intricately layered adventure.

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THE SEVEN PERFUMES OF SACRIFICE

Logan’s debut thriller follows an investigative journalist as she sets out to avenge the honor killing of a Druze friend. 

Globe-trotting investigative journalist Fereby McCullough Jones narrowly escapes death in a suicide bombing when her Israeli Druze friend Leila Azzam whisks her off a bus just before it explodes. The Druze, a secretive and restrictive Arab community, adhere to a covert religion loyal to the Israeli state; though Fereby knows Leila as an energetic, bold artist of immense talent, Leila’s strict religious family sees her as a stain on their honor ever since a vicious attack she endured as a child. When Fereby finds Leila’s bruised, bloody body surrounded by jeering crowds in the middle of the street, she immediately suspects her friend has been the victim of an honor killing. But the Druze religious hierarchy, the obstructive Azzam family and the unsupportive Israeli legal system prove to be greater obstacles than anticipated when Fereby attempts to bring Leila’s killers to justice. Logan’s passion to eradicate honor killing is clear in this fast-paced narrative. Despite the intensity of her subject matter, the author fuses exhaustive research on ancient symbols, art and religion to create a gripping page-turner. Well-developed supporting characters add depth and intimacy to Fereby’s noble mission. Logan astutely and sensitively depicts the Druze women as powerful and intelligent characters in spite of their subjugation. Male characters, on the other hand, tend to be slightly one-dimensional, although they remain convincing. A harsh critic of religious doctrines that suppress women, the author highlights some of the sect’s more sublime traditions and beliefs so as to respectfully portray a more complete picture of the Druze. Suspenseful, smart, and laced with unexpected twists and turns, Logan’s exciting novel offers a haunting portrait of women in repressive cultures who are forced to live as second-class citizens.

From the first page, Logan’s thrilling debut novel is an intelligent, intricately layered adventure.

Pub Date: March 5, 2012

ISBN: 978-0985308018

Page Count: 268

Publisher: Priya Press

Review Posted Online: April 12, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 2012

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A strange, subtle, and haunting novel.

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THE GLASS HOTEL

A financier's Ponzi scheme unravels to disastrous effect, revealing the unexpected connections among a cast of disparate characters.

How did Vincent Smith fall overboard from a container ship near the coast of Mauritania, fathoms away from her former life as Jonathan Alkaitis' pretend trophy wife? In this long-anticipated follow-up to Station Eleven (2014), Mandel uses Vincent's disappearance to pick through the wreckage of Alkaitis' fraudulent investment scheme, which ripples through hundreds of lives. There's Paul, Vincent's half brother, a composer and addict in recovery; Olivia, an octogenarian painter who invested her retirement savings in Alkaitis' funds; Leon, a former consultant for a shipping company; and a chorus of office workers who enabled Alkaitis and are terrified of facing the consequences. Slowly, Mandel reveals how her characters struggle to align their stations in life with their visions for what they could be. For Vincent, the promise of transformation comes when she's offered a stint with Alkaitis in "the kingdom of money." Here, the rules of reality are different and time expands, allowing her to pursue video art others find pointless. For Alkaitis, reality itself is too much to bear. In his jail cell, he is confronted by the ghosts of his victims and escapes into "the counterlife," a soothing alternate reality in which he avoided punishment. It's in these dreamy sections that Mandel's ideas about guilt and responsibility, wealth and comfort, the real and the imagined, begin to cohere. At its heart, this is a ghost story in which every boundary is blurred, from the moral to the physical. How far will Alkaitis go to deny responsibility for his actions? And how quickly will his wealth corrupt the ambitions of those in proximity to it? In luminous prose, Mandel shows how easy it is to become caught in a web of unintended consequences and how disastrous it can be when such fragile bonds shatter under pressure.

A strange, subtle, and haunting novel.

Pub Date: March 24, 2020

ISBN: 978-0-525-52114-3

Page Count: 320

Publisher: Knopf

Review Posted Online: Nov. 25, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15, 2019

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A strict report, worthy of sympathy.

THE CATCHER IN THE RYE

A violent surfacing of adolescence (which has little in common with Tarkington's earlier, broadly comic, Seventeen) has a compulsive impact.

"Nobody big except me" is the dream world of Holden Caulfield and his first person story is down to the basic, drab English of the pre-collegiate. For Holden is now being bounced from fancy prep, and, after a vicious evening with hall- and roommates, heads for New York to try to keep his latest failure from his parents. He tries to have a wild evening (all he does is pay the check), is terrorized by the hotel elevator man and his on-call whore, has a date with a girl he likes—and hates, sees his 10 year old sister, Phoebe. He also visits a sympathetic English teacher after trying on a drunken session, and when he keeps his date with Phoebe, who turns up with her suitcase to join him on his flight, he heads home to a hospital siege. This is tender and true, and impossible, in its picture of the old hells of young boys, the lonesomeness and tentative attempts to be mature and secure, the awful block between youth and being grown-up, the fright and sickness that humans and their behavior cause the challenging, the dramatization of the big bang. It is a sorry little worm's view of the off-beat of adult pressure, of contemporary strictures and conformity, of sentiment….

A strict report, worthy of sympathy.

Pub Date: June 15, 1951

ISBN: 0316769177

Page Count: -

Publisher: Little, Brown

Review Posted Online: Nov. 2, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 1951

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