Transcends the common thriller while examining contemporary disregard for privacy.

THE GREEK FIRE KILLINGS

A compelling, thoughtful thriller that follows a couple’s attempt to escape danger.

In a world where we are forever watching and being watched, can anyone truly keep a secret? This question churns at the center of Miles’ (The Shootings At Summerhill High School, 2012) novel, a tale of deception and intrigue that also serves as a troubling commentary on the loss of privacy. Blissfully celebrating their first anniversary, newlyweds Derrick and Rhiannon Brewster escape to a remote cabin in the mountains. While eating at a restaurant just before their retreat, they witness a horrifying murder. Sen. Wilkins, suspected of being behind a brutal political campaign designed to shut out the democratic candidate, is accosted by an eager young journalist. The senator pulls a gun on the young man and kills him in front of a restaurant full of witnesses; it’s caught on video for good measure. Predictably, the video goes viral, both on news channels and, in an uncut version, all over the Internet. Derrick, a journalist, now finds his job hanging in the balance for having fled the scene of the crime rather than reporting it. Rhiannon’s unwitting appearance in the video astounds one viewer. Rhiannon had foiled Marc David Anthony’s attempt at creating an international data mining operation; she then took on a new identity and went into hiding, unbeknownst to her new husband. Anthony tracks Rhiannon and sends professional hitmen to her house, making it clear he’s thirsty for revenge. The couple soon lands in intense danger, needing to find strength from within themselves and from each other. Suspenseful and captivating, Derrick and Rhiannon’s story brims with love and intrigue as they travel the country in search of safety. Miles tells a fast-paced story that explores what can happen to a couple when they find themselves in extraordinary circumstances.

Transcends the common thriller while examining contemporary disregard for privacy.

Pub Date: Dec. 18, 2012

ISBN: 978-1480272569

Page Count: 260

Publisher: CreateSpace

Review Posted Online: March 7, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 2013

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The phrase “tour de force” could have been invented for this audacious novel.

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A LITTLE LIFE

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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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

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