A tale of an amateur detective who’s bright and riveting even when he makes mistakes.

And Then She Was Gone

A DETECTIVE JACK STRATTON NOVEL

A teenager with aspirations to be a police officer looks into the case of a missing woman in the latest, prequel installment of Greyson’s (Pure of Heart, 2015, etc.) thriller series.

Foster brothers Jack Stratton and Chandler Carter each have three months before they enlist in the Army, and they intend to follow their two years of service with stints in college and the Police Academy. Jack wants to enjoy his last summer, but financial analyst Stacy Shaw’s unexplained disappearance changes his plan. He doesn’t know her, but he does know “J-Dog,” aka Jay Martin, whom cops arrested after he admitted to finding the woman’s wallet. Although Jack and Jay, foster kids who grew up together, aren’t currently on friendly terms, their former foster mother, Aunt Haddie, enlists Jack’s help. He compiles a wide range of suspects, from a crazy, homeless man known as Vlad to Stacy’s lascivious boss, Leland Chambers. Fortunately, Chandler willingly sits with Jack during his stakeouts. Decidedly less fortunate is Detective Lyle Vargas, who believes that Jack is impeding a police investigation and threatens Jack’s future career by casually accusing him of crimes such as planting evidence. Jack will have to steer clear of the detective to solve the case, unless he’s prepared to wind up in prison with J-Dog. Despite the protagonist’s age, Greyson’s story isn’t in the young-adult genre. Jack is actually at the tail end of his teens, and this book chronologically takes place before a series featuring Jack as an adult detective. Greyson adeptly establishes Jack’s personal life while also reminding readers of the mystery; Jack’s date with a delightful young woman named Kelly, for example, begins with a news report about Stacy and later leads to the couple witnessing Jay’s arrest. The sound mystery brims with red herrings, and quite a few of Jack’s hunches miss the mark even though he bases his guesses on evidence. The book also shows Jack pragmatically investigating by perusing Facebook pages and doing old-fashioned footwork. The narrative explores darker territory—including drugs, prostitution, and possible murder—but doesn’t fully immerse itself in it, and there’s hardly any vulgar language aside from perhaps too many utterances of the word “crap.”

A tale of an amateur detective who’s bright and riveting even when he makes mistakes.

Pub Date: N/A

ISBN: 978-1-68399-002-4

Page Count: -

Publisher: Greyson Media Associates

Review Posted Online: Sept. 20, 2016

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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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