THE CHOICE

Francis X. Galvin, the down-at-the-heels lawyer who so memorably took on the establishment in The Verdict (1980), has become part of the establishment now: he's about to land a partnership in a top Boston firm when fledgling attorney Antonia Alvarez asks him to help prosecute a suit against Gammett Industries, whose miracle drug for heart disease, Lyosin, has produced birth defects in the children of her Portuguese clients. Not only is Galvin obliged to turn down the case, since his firm already represents Gammett, but he's forced to defend the suit against Tina and the allies he's rounded up for her, including his old partner, Moe Katz. There's no mystery about guilt: Reed reveals early on that Chip Hovington, son of Galvin's boss, has advised Universal, Gammett's multinational parent corporation, to backdate changes in Gammett's incorporation papers to shield itself from an American lawsuit, and that Sabrina Bok-Sahn, the brainy Burmese whose family's research is behind Lyosin, has suppressed evidence dating back to 1902 of the side-effects of the drug's active ingredient. But suspense mounts as we watch Galvin maneuver within his fraternity of well- tailored sharks for advantages he doesn't think Gammett deserves, even as he gradually realizes that key witnesses—the letter carrier who allowed Universal to avoid the serving of legal documents, the down- home lawyer who tried to blackmail Universal into a rich retirement, and finally repentant Sabrina herself—are getting killed, and he's the logical next victim of his own client's desperate greed. Not even a massively predictable finale can spoil what may be the best novel of legal infighting ever. Eat your heart out, Perry Mason.

Pub Date: Aug. 1, 1991

ISBN: 0-517-58124-8

Page Count: 352

Publisher: Crown

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 1991

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

Nothing original, but in Hilderbrand’s hands it’s easy to get lost in the story.

BAREFOOT

Privileged 30-somethings hide from their woes in Nantucket.

Hilderbrand’s saga follows the lives of Melanie, Brenda and Vicki. Vicki, alpha mom and perfect wife, is battling late-stage lung cancer and, in an uncharacteristically flaky moment, opts for chemotherapy at the beach. Vicki shares ownership of a tiny Nantucket cottage with her younger sister Brenda. Brenda, a literature professor, tags along for the summer, partly out of familial duty, partly because she’s fleeing the fallout from her illicit affair with a student. As for Melanie, she gets a last minute invite from Vicki, after Melanie confides that Melanie’s husband is having an affair. Between Melanie and Brenda, Vicki feels her two young boys should have adequate supervision, but a disastrous first day on the island forces the trio to source some outside help. Enter Josh, the adorable and affable local who is hired to tend to the boys. On break from college, Josh learns about the pitfalls of mature love as he falls for the beauties in the snug abode. Josh likes beer, analysis-free relationships and hot older women. In a word, he’s believable. In addition to a healthy dose of testosterone, the novel is balanced by powerful descriptions of Vicki’s bond with her two boys. Emotions run high as she prepares for death.

Nothing original, but in Hilderbrand’s hands it’s easy to get lost in the story.

Pub Date: July 2, 2007

ISBN: 978-0-316-01858-6

Page Count: 352

Publisher: Little, Brown

Review Posted Online: June 24, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15, 2007

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

More about grief and tragedy than romance.

FRIENDS FOREVER

Five friends meet on their first day of kindergarten at the exclusive Atwood School and remain lifelong friends through tragedy and triumph.

When Gabby, Billy, Izzie, Andy and Sean meet in the toy kitchen of the kindergarten classroom on their first day of school, no one can know how strong the group’s friendship will remain. Despite their different personalities and interests, the five grow up together and become even closer as they come into their own talents and life paths. But tragedy will strike and strike again. Family troubles, abusive parents, drugs, alcohol, stress, grief and even random bad luck will put pressure on each of them individually and as a group. Known for her emotional romances, Steel makes a bit of a departure with this effort that follows a group of friends through young adulthood. But even as one tragedy after another befalls the friends, the impact of the events is blunted by a distant narrative style that lacks emotional intensity. 

More about grief and tragedy than romance.

Pub Date: July 24, 2012

ISBN: 978-0-385-34321-3

Page Count: 322

Publisher: Delacorte

Review Posted Online: Nov. 14, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2012

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet
more