A broad, satisfying thriller that’s as invigorating as it is charming.

The eBay Code

THE EBAY DETECTIVE BOOK 2

In Maj. Brad Stout’s return, he must foil a radiological threat against the president mere hours before his wedding.

Part of Brad’s job at Armed Forces Radiobiology Research Institute is monitoring eBay for anyone selling radioactive material. The Army major believes he’s uncovered an online sale written in code that offers a potentially lethal item related to a 1961 nuclear incident in Idaho. There’s also an allusion in the code to the president’s upcoming visit to Camp David. Brad desperately attempts to warn the president about the scheme, and he’s also in serious danger of missing his wedding to his pregnant fiancee, Mary Lou. Though short, the second book in Salter’s (The eBay Plot, 2012) series packs a mean punch. In addition to the nuclear threat and pending nuptials, Brad is attacked by dirty-bomb terrorists—he’d thwarted their plans in his last adventure—seeking a World War II–era diary they believe he possesses. Brad also travels to Germany when a loved one is kidnapped, and he meets his odd, insular Cajun future in-laws. The novel can sometimes read like Salter was trying to squeeze in as many genres as he could: action, espionage, drama, a detective story, comedy with Mary Lou’s Ma and her nearly incomprehensible Cajun dialect, and even romance, as Brad and Mary Lou’s intimacy is in ample supply. Fortunately, though, the story isn’t convoluted, and there’s always some elbow room in the narrative. The best scenes deal with the bonding between Brad and his father-to-be: Brad calls him Dad and contrasts him with his own father, a cold, violent man. The two men work together in tracking down the highest bidder for the dubious eBay auction. But at the core of the story are Brad’s fear and excitement about his future marriage and impending fatherhood. For instance, despite having just survived an attack, he’s worried he’ll incur his fiancee’s Cajun wrath if he’s late picking up her father from the airport. Tellingly, the countdown, which begins about halfway through the novel, counts down not to the threat against the president but to the wedding day.

A broad, satisfying thriller that’s as invigorating as it is charming.

Pub Date: March 12, 2013

ISBN: 978-1625108036

Page Count: 216

Publisher: Tate Publishing

Review Posted Online: June 19, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 2013

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ONE DAY IN THE LIFE OF IVAN DENISOVICH

While a few weeks ago it seemed as if Praeger would have a two month lead over Dutton in their presentation of this Soviet best seller, both the "authorized" edition (Dutton's) and the "unauthorized" (Praeger's) will appear almost simultaneously. There has been considerable advance attention on what appears to be as much of a publishing cause celebre here as the original appearance of the book in Russia. Without entering into the scrimmage, or dismissing it as a plague on both your houses, we will limit ourselves to a few facts. Royalties from the "unauthorized" edition will go to the International Rescue Committee; Dutton with their contracted edition is adhering to copyright conventions. The Praeger edition has two translators and one of them is the translator of Doctor Zhivago Dutton's translator, Ralph Parker, has been stigmatized by Praeger as "an apologist for the Soviet regime". To the untutored eye, the Dutton translation seems a little more literary, the Praeger perhaps closer to the rather primitive style of the original. The book itself is an account of one day in the three thousand six hundred and fifty three days of the sentence to be served by a carpenter, Ivan Denisovich Shukhov. (Solzhenitsyn was a political prisoner.) From the unrelenting cold without, to the conditions within, from the bathhouse to the latrine to the cells where survival for more than two weeks is impossible, this records the hopeless facts of existence as faced by thousands who went on "living like this, with your eyes on the ground". The Dutton edition has an excellent introduction providing an orientation on the political background to its appearance in Russia by Marvin Kalb. All involved in its publication (translators, introducers, etc.) claim for it great "artistic" values which we cannot share, although there is no question of its importance as a political and human document and as significant and tangible evidence of the de-Stalinization program.

Pub Date: June 15, 1963

ISBN: 0451228146

Page Count: 181

Publisher: Praeger

Review Posted Online: Oct. 5, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 1963

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A touching family drama that effectively explores the negative impact of stress on fragile relationships.

A WEEK AT THE SHORE

A middle-aged woman returns to her childhood home to care for her ailing father, confronting many painful secrets from her past.

When Mallory Aldiss gets a call from a long-ago boyfriend telling her that her elderly father has been gallivanting around town with a gun in his hand, Mallory decides it’s time to return to the small Rhode Island town that she’s been avoiding for more than a decade. Mallory’s precocious 13-year-old daughter, Joy, is thrilled that she'll get to meet her grandfather at long last, and an aunt, too, and she'll finally see the place where her mother grew up. When they arrive in Bay Bluff, it’s barely a few hours before Mallory bumps into her old flame, Jack, the only man she’s ever really loved. Gone is the rebellious young person she remembers, and in his place stands a compassionate, accomplished adult. As they try to reconnect, Mallory realizes that the same obstacle that pushed them apart decades earlier is still standing in their way: Jack blames Mallory’s father for his mother’s death. No one knows exactly how Jack’s mother died, but Jack thinks a love affair between her and Mallory’s father had something to do with it. As Jack and Mallory chase down answers, Mallory also tries to repair her rocky relationships with her two sisters and determine why her father has always been so hard on her. Told entirely from Mallory’s perspective, the novel has a haunting, nostalgic quality. Despite the complex and overlapping layers to the history of Bay Bluff and its inhabitants, the book at times trudges too slowly through Mallory’s meanderings down Memory Lane. Even so, Delinsky sometimes manages to pick up the pace, and in those moments the beauty and nuance of this complicated family tale shine through. Readers who don’t mind skimming past details that do little to advance the plot may find that the juicier nuggets and realistically rendered human connections are worth the effort.

A touching family drama that effectively explores the negative impact of stress on fragile relationships.

Pub Date: May 19, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-250-11951-3

Page Count: 416

Publisher: St. Martin's

Review Posted Online: March 2, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2020

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