An enjoyable romp involving a shady attorney and the mob that should make readers look forward to the next Jane Larson caper.
A sleuthing lawyer returns to the streets of New York in this mystery of drugs, murder, and financial skullduggery, the sequel to Praise Her, Praise Diana (2014).
A former pro bono attorney who once helped apprehend a serial killer, Jane Larson is now a rising star in corporate litigation at Adams & Ridge, a prominent New York City law firm. She’s still smarting from the abrupt departure of her boyfriend, David Bialo. The intense, time-consuming job is to blame, and she entertains second thoughts about her career. A lull in her workload and a legal assistant’s plea cause Jane to take over a case of unpaid alimony and child support after the plaintiff’s lawyer dies. Gail Hollings, Jane’s new client, is anything but sympathetic, but Gail’s former husband, Larry Hawkins, is worse. A small-time attorney who’s had his law license suspended, Larry may also be a drug dealer. After he’s found dead, a clear-cut professional hit, Jane discovers that Larry had stolen serious money from the mob. But where is it? Most disturbing is that several of Jane’s acquaintances, including David and her best friend, Lee, also knew Larry and maybe were his customers. Finding Larry’s client files becomes a race among Jane, the police, and the killer. Luckily she meets another lawyer, Bryan, who becomes a source of protection, and more. In this second Larson outing, the husband-wife team of Rothman-Hicks and Hicks (Kate and the Kid, 2016, etc.) has again produced a fast-paced, engaging story. The first-person narrative delivers both caustic wit and serious reflection. Jane is complex, nuanced, and utterly believable as a conflicted professional debating her life’s choices (“Yes, I have been known to throw things and come out with witty but rude remarks after a few too many drinks. However, I have never made myself a fool for love, and I didn’t intend to start now”). The writing is generally so smooth and taut that the occasional bumps—hackneyed language and unnecessary foreshadowing—are easily forgiven. The plot takes on perhaps excessive speed at the end; the riveting climactic scene involves a lot of characters appearing rather suddenly and a bit too conveniently. And, to tie things up, the financial machinations could have used more details and clarity as well. Yet, overall, this is a satisfying read.An enjoyable romp involving a shady attorney and the mob that should make readers look forward to the next Jane Larson caper.
Pub Date: June 1, 2016
Page Count: 218
Publisher: Melange Books
Review Posted Online: July 30, 2016
Review Program: Kirkus Indie
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by Hanya Yanagihara ‧ RELEASE DATE: March 10, 2015
The phrase “tour de force” could have been invented for this audacious novel.
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Best Books Of 2015
National Book Award Finalist
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
Page Count: 720
Review Posted Online: Dec. 21, 2014
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2015
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by J.D. Salinger ‧ RELEASE DATE: June 15, 1951
A strict report, worthy of sympathy.
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
Page Count: -
Publisher: Little, Brown
Review Posted Online: Nov. 2, 2011
Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 1951
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