STOLEN THUNDER

A Cornish gentlewoman, her widowed, American father-in-law, a terminally ill cancer patient, a depressed fellow, and a boor steal a used B52 from a parking lot in Arizona—and take it to Libya to exercise a little personal diplomacy. Well, apparently it's possible, there being goodness knows how many bombers lying about unused what with a downsized American Air Force and a reasonable expectation that you can leave your keys in a plane and expect it to be there when you get back. But plane thieves Mrs. Tamasin Masterson and her late husband's retired, USAF, Vietnam-hero father, Bartholomew ``Bat'' Masterson, are no mindless joyriders. They've recruited a crew to fly with them to the Sahara to bomb to kingdom come international terrorist Tariq Talal and his gang of international terrorist scum as punishment for the murder of Captain Edward Masterson. This high-minded crew are well over the Pacific before anyone back at the Air Force base realizes that the plane is not headed for Australia, where it's supposed to be going or that it has, in fact, disappeared. It's up to clever intelligence officer Rebecca ``Becks'' Laird to figure out where the plane actually is and why anyone would want to steal it. She gets no help from her commanding officer, who is shorter than she is and hates her, or from the CIA—who could use their satellites to help but, for reasons not revealed until much too late, won't. Meanwhile, in the Libyan desert training camp targeted for destruction, budding terrorist Adem Elhaggi discovers the clay feet of the warrior he has idolized, and in England, Mrs. Masterson's noble brother, himself a fighter pilot of considerable distinction, prepares to rescue his sister from the disaster she must surely face. The author—a pseudonymous Brit who puts mountains in Minnesota and ``ain't'' in the mouth of almost every American— gives himself far too many pages to reach an outcome that will surprise no one.

Pub Date: May 17, 1993

ISBN: 0-312-09395-0

Page Count: 384

Publisher: St. Martin's

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 1993

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There are unforgettable beauties in this very sexy story.

TELL ME LIES

Passion, friendship, heartbreak, and forgiveness ring true in Lovering's debut, the tale of a young woman's obsession with a man who's "good at being charming."

Long Island native Lucy Albright, starts her freshman year at Baird College in Southern California, intending to study English and journalism and become a travel writer. Stephen DeMarco, an upperclassman, is a political science major who plans to become a lawyer. Soon after they meet, Lucy tells Stephen an intensely personal story about the Unforgivable Thing, a betrayal that turned Lucy against her mother. Stephen pretends to listen to Lucy's painful disclosure, but all his thoughts are about her exposed black bra strap and her nipples pressing against her thin cotton T-shirt. It doesn't take Lucy long to realize Stephen's a "manipulative jerk" and she is "beyond pathetic" in her desire for him, but their lives are now intertwined. Their story takes seven years to unfold, but it's a fast-paced ride through hookups, breakups, and infidelities fueled by alcohol and cocaine and with oodles of sizzling sexual tension. "Lucy was an itch, a song stuck in your head or a movie you need to rewatch or a food you suddenly crave," Stephen says in one of his point-of-view chapters, which alternate with Lucy's. The ending is perfect, as Lucy figures out the dark secret Stephen has kept hidden and learns the difference between lustful addiction and mature love.

There are unforgettable beauties in this very sexy story.

Pub Date: June 12, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-5011-6964-9

Page Count: 352

Publisher: Atria

Review Posted Online: March 20, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 2018

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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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