A rousing tale with fine action, engaging villains, and series potential.



In Godfrey’s debut thriller, a private special ops group on a mission to rescue hostages confronts terrorists who are gunning for a biological weapon.

Californian college student Christie Jensen and her friend Jackie Dawson have been missing for more than 24 hours by the time Christie’s attorney father, Mark Jensen, gets the news. The two young women were enjoying their summer in Denver when they mysteriously vanished. The local police focus on Jackie’s significantly older boyfriend, Robert Sand, who originally reported his girlfriend’s disappearance, but they’re getting nowhere. So Jensen calls the Brecht Group, a private security and threat-assessment company whose owner has a strong tie to the lawyer’s father. Meanwhile, readers know that a man named Arthur Beeman and his accomplice, Antonio Pessoa, abducted the young women at a Denver mall. Arthur is a scientist who’s planning a rather disturbing experiment involving Christie, Jackie, and an oblivious Antonio. Meanwhile, Arthur’s deadly, synthesized virus, code-named “Black Sunrise,” sparks the interest of North Korean terrorists, and they’re willing to pay millions to get their hands on it. Brecht Group operatives, including Roady Kenehan, soon learn that American intelligence agencies have been surveilling Arthur and the North Koreans. The agencies know that two kidnapped young women are alive, but they’re unwilling to mount a rescue that could jeopardize their operation. Roady and others, including military-trained Mark and Robert, are determined to save Christie and Jackie, even if it means going up against deadly foes.  Although Godfrey’s novel definitely has its share of action, there are just as many enthralling scenes of investigation. For example, as Brecht Group operatives look into the young women’s disappearance, they use sophisticated technology, including equipment that recreates the mall abduction by drawing on radio transmissions, among other data. Several characters share similar skills, which make them somewhat less distinct as individuals; Mark and Robert, for example, both have very useful combat training, as does Roady, whom the two eventually join in a gunfight. There’s also a pronounced theme of fatherhood that involves multiple characters; Mark, for example, is a father who gets help from his own dad; most view Robert as a sugar daddy; and aging Albert Brecht, the head of the Brecht Group and “one of the last remaining fathers of the Cold War,” is preparing to pass down his company. The story’s villains, however, are more remarkable and memorable; Antonio is decidedly repugnant, Arthur is highly intelligent but likely psychopathic, and Jimmy Kim, who most often represents the North Koreans, is unusually charming. Overall, Godfrey’s narrative proceeds at a deliberate pace, thanks to hefty but often riveting backstories of several characters. Still, the story boasts a few surprises when it comes to the specifics of Arthur’s experiment and more than one unexpected death. The conclusion provides a thorough and convincing wrap-up, but Godfrey has a sequel planned, which will surely appeal to readers looking for more exciting stories of Brecht Group operatives in peril.

A rousing tale with fine action, engaging villains, and series potential.

Pub Date: June 21, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-08-056084-4

Page Count: 436

Publisher: Time Tunnel Media

Review Posted Online: Aug. 7, 2019

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet


Britisher Swift's sixth novel (Ever After, 1992 etc.) and fourth to appear here is a slow-to-start but then captivating tale of English working-class families in the four decades following WW II. When Jack Dodds dies suddenly of cancer after years of running a butcher shop in London, he leaves a strange request—namely, that his ashes be scattered off Margate pier into the sea. And who could better be suited to fulfill this wish than his three oldest drinking buddies—insurance man Ray, vegetable seller Lenny, and undertaker Vic, all of whom, like Jack himself, fought also as soldiers or sailors in the long-ago world war. Swift's narrative start, with its potential for the melodramatic, is developed instead with an economy, heart, and eye that release (through the characters' own voices, one after another) the story's humanity and depth instead of its schmaltz. The jokes may be weak and self- conscious when the three old friends meet at their local pub in the company of the urn holding Jack's ashes; but once the group gets on the road, in an expensive car driven by Jack's adoptive son, Vince, the story starts gradually to move forward, cohere, and deepen. The reader learns in time why it is that no wife comes along, why three marriages out of three broke apart, and why Vince always hated his stepfather Jack and still does—or so he thinks. There will be stories of innocent youth, suffering wives, early loves, lost daughters, secret affairs, and old antagonisms—including a fistfight over the dead on an English hilltop, and a strewing of Jack's ashes into roiling seawaves that will draw up feelings perhaps unexpectedly strong. Without affectation, Swift listens closely to the lives that are his subject and creates a songbook of voices part lyric, part epic, part working-class social realism—with, in all, the ring to it of the honest, human, and true.

Pub Date: April 5, 1996

ISBN: 0-679-41224-7

Page Count: 304

Publisher: Knopf

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 1996

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

Dated sermonizing on career versus motherhood, and conflict driven by characters’ willed helplessness, sap this tale of...


Lifelong, conflicted friendship of two women is the premise of Hannah’s maudlin latest (Magic Hour, 2006, etc.), again set in Washington State.

Tallulah “Tully” Hart, father unknown, is the daughter of a hippie, Cloud, who makes only intermittent appearances in her life. Tully takes refuge with the family of her “best friend forever,” Kate Mularkey, who compares herself unfavorably with Tully, in regards to looks and charisma. In college, “TullyandKate” pledge the same sorority and major in communications. Tully has a life goal for them both: They will become network TV anchorwomen. Tully lands an internship at KCPO-TV in Seattle and finagles a producing job for Kate. Kate no longer wishes to follow Tully into broadcasting and is more drawn to fiction writing, but she hesitates to tell her overbearing friend. Meanwhile a love triangle blooms at KCPO: Hard-bitten, irresistibly handsome, former war correspondent Johnny is clearly smitten with Tully. Expecting rejection, Kate keeps her infatuation with Johnny secret. When Tully lands a reporting job with a Today-like show, her career shifts into hyperdrive. Johnny and Kate had started an affair once Tully moved to Manhattan, and when Kate gets pregnant with daughter Marah, they marry. Kate is content as a stay-at-home mom, but frets about being Johnny’s second choice and about her unrealized writing ambitions. Tully becomes Seattle’s answer to Oprah. She hires Johnny, which spells riches for him and Kate. But Kate’s buttons are fully depressed by pitched battles over slutwear and curfews with teenaged Marah, who idolizes her godmother Tully. In an improbable twist, Tully invites Kate and Marah to resolve their differences on her show, only to blindside Kate by accusing her, on live TV, of overprotecting Marah. The BFFs are sundered. Tully’s latest attempt to salvage Cloud fails: The incorrigible, now geriatric hippie absconds once more. Just as Kate develops a spine, she’s given some devastating news. Will the friends reconcile before it’s too late?

Dated sermonizing on career versus motherhood, and conflict driven by characters’ willed helplessness, sap this tale of poignancy.

Pub Date: Feb. 1, 2008

ISBN: 978-0-312-36408-3

Page Count: 496

Publisher: St. Martin's

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 1, 2007

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet