A tale of misplaced trust, opportunities lost, and indefatigable hope that will satisfy war vets and pacifists alike.


A thriller about a college student who flees to Canada after his favorite professor frames him for murder.

Sharry depicts the same post–Vietnam War disillusionment that was central to his first book, For Renata (2014). In the wake of the disastrous riots at Kent State University, college student and reservist Bobby Coyle is called by his commanders to help quell protests at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. When one of Bobby’s superiors becomes aggressive toward a young co-ed, Bobby steps in to defend her, knocking out his commanding officer. Worried he may have killed the man, Bobby runs from the scene looking for help, which he finds in Adam Payne. Little does Bobby know that Payne is a psychopath, a terrifically evil man engaged in a string of his own crimes and indiscretions. Payne seizes upon Bobby’s misfortune, manipulating the scenario so Bobby takes the fall for Payne’s unrelated wrongdoings. He convinces Bobby to escape to Canada, where Payne intends to complete the frame-up, then have him killed. As Bobby tries to create a new life for himself, he wises up to Payne’s plan, staying in hiding to evade American authorities as well as Payne. As Sharry shifts between scenes of the deserter and the deserted, he keeps the reader guessing about whether Bobby will ever find peace and whether Payne will get his just deserts. There is constant fear throughout the tale that Payne will catch up with Bobby, putting an end to the gripping cat-and-mouse game he has created. In addition to this undercurrent of suspense, Sharry presents realistic emotional struggles involving Bobby’s estranged relationships with family members, seemingly ubiquitous yearnings for approval, and the pervasive distrust of government that prevailed during much of the turbulent 1970s. While maintaining a fast narrative pace, Sharry still manages to intriguingly address questions of hope, loyalty, and love. Readers will hold their breath waiting to see how it all turns out.

A tale of misplaced trust, opportunities lost, and indefatigable hope that will satisfy war vets and pacifists alike. 

Pub Date: June 7, 2015

ISBN: 978-0-692-40314-3

Page Count: 334

Publisher: Coccinelle Books

Review Posted Online: Aug. 14, 2015

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The years pass by at a fast and steamy clip in Blume’s latest adult novel (Wifey, not reviewed; Smart Women, 1984) as two friends find loyalties and affections tested as they grow into young women. In sixth grade, when Victoria Weaver is asked by new girl Caitlin Somers to spend the summer with her on Martha’s Vineyard, her life changes forever. Victoria, or more commonly Vix, lives in a small house; her brother has muscular dystrophy; her mother is unhappy, and money is scarce. Caitlin, on the other hand, lives part of the year with her wealthy mother Phoebe, who’s just moved to Albuquerque, and summers with her father Lamb, equally affluent, on the Vineyard. The story of how this casual invitation turns the two girls into what they call "Summer sisters" is prefaced with a prologue in which Vix is asked by Caitlin to be her matron of honor. The years in between are related in brief segments by numerous characters, but mostly by Vix. Caitlin, determined never to be ordinary, is always testing the limits, and in adolescence falls hard for Von, an older construction worker, while Vix falls for his friend Bru. Blume knows the way kids and teens speak, but her two female leads are less credible as they reach adulthood. After high school, Caitlin travels the world and can’t understand why Vix, by now at Harvard on a scholarship and determined to have a better life than her mother has had, won’t drop out and join her. Though the wedding briefly revives Vix’s old feelings for Bru, whom Caitlin is marrying, Vix is soon in love with Gus, another old summer friend, and a more compatible match. But Caitlin, whose own demons have been hinted at, will not be so lucky. The dark and light sides of friendship breathlessly explored in a novel best saved for summer beachside reading.

Pub Date: May 8, 1998

ISBN: 0-385-32405-7

Page Count: 336

Publisher: Delacorte

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 1998

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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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