A tightly written and thoroughly engaging crime tale.

READ REVIEW

SHELTER COVE

From the Resurrection Man series

This sixth installment of a series features the ongoing adventures of a British cop.

For the past three years, Yorkshire-born expatriate Cole Thornton has run a bookshop in the sleepy surfer town of Shelter Cove, California. If the store is notable for anything, it’s for being one of the few businesses not yet bought by local land developer Arlo Rankoff. One day, a car crashes through the window of the shop, destroying Cole’s inventory and nearly killing motel owner and auxiliary police deputy Holly West, who came in to flirt with the Englishman. When Cole gets up and looks into the cab of the vehicle, all that’s left of the driver is his foot on the gas pedal. Soon Ben Gardner, Shelter Cove’s chief of police, arrives. He turns out to be angrier at Cole than at the surf bum he assumes to have driven the car. Gardner feels protective of Holly, the survivor of an abusive marriage, and he senses there’s something fishy going on with Cole. Gardner looks into the missing driver, who soon turns up dead. But Cole has bigger troubles to deal with: He hears that his violent, estranged younger brother, British cop Jim Grant, has been looking for him to settle some old business. First Cole’s ex–sister-in-law drops by to warn him, and then the dangerous man himself appears—out to bring his older brother to justice. Campbell (Beacon Hill, 2017, etc.) writes in a gracefully muscular prose enlivened by drolly cinematic dialogue: “ ‘I keep forgetting this is a litigious society. Poodle power.’ ‘You mean the woman dried her dog in the microwave?’ Cole raised his eyebrows. ‘What was General Electric thinking? Not putting that in the instructions.’ ‘I think it was a Samsung.’ ” The author excels at hiding the ball while still keeping readers invested in the story. It takes a while for Grant to show up, let alone for the main thrust of the plot to be revealed, but such inventive narrative strategies help Campbell keep his series fresh as it moves into its latest volume.

A tightly written and thoroughly engaging crime tale.

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-4834-8806-6

Page Count: 284

Publisher: Lulu Publishing Services

Review Posted Online: Sept. 3, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 1, 2018

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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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A love letter to the power of books and friendship.

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THE GIVER OF STARS

Women become horseback librarians in 1930s Kentucky and face challenges from the landscape, the weather, and the men around them.

Alice thought marrying attractive American Bennett Van Cleve would be her ticket out of her stifling life in England. But when she and Bennett settle in Baileyville, Kentucky, she realizes that her life consists of nothing more than staying in their giant house all day and getting yelled at by his unpleasant father, who owns a coal mine. She’s just about to resign herself to a life of boredom when an opportunity presents itself in the form of a traveling horseback library—an initiative from Eleanor Roosevelt meant to counteract the devastating effects of the Depression by focusing on literacy and learning. Much to the dismay of her husband and father-in-law, Alice signs up and soon learns the ropes from the library’s leader, Margery. Margery doesn’t care what anyone thinks of her, rejects marriage, and would rather be on horseback than in a kitchen. And even though all this makes Margery a town pariah, Alice quickly grows to like her. Along with several other women (including one black woman, Sophia, whose employment causes controversy in a town that doesn’t believe black and white people should be allowed to use the same library), Margery and Alice supply magazines, Bible stories, and copies of books like Little Women to the largely poor residents who live in remote areas. Alice spends long days in terrible weather on horseback, but she finally feels happy in her new life in Kentucky, even as her marriage to Bennett is failing. But her powerful father-in-law doesn’t care for Alice’s job or Margery’s lifestyle, and he’ll stop at nothing to shut their library down. Basing her novel on the true story of the Pack Horse Library Project established by the Works Progress Administration in the 1930s, Moyes (Still Me, 2018, etc.) brings an often forgotten slice of history to life. She writes about Kentucky with lush descriptions of the landscape and tender respect for the townspeople, most of whom are poor, uneducated, and grateful for the chance to learn. Although Alice and Margery both have their own romances, the true power of the story is in the bonds between the women of the library. They may have different backgrounds, but their commitment to helping the people of Baileyville brings them together.

A love letter to the power of books and friendship.

Pub Date: Oct. 8, 2019

ISBN: 978-0-399-56248-8

Page Count: 400

Publisher: Pamela Dorman/Viking

Review Posted Online: July 1, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2019

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