Fans of contemporary horror-thrillers will be deeply satisfied by this latest Nightscape outing.



A South Pacific thriller that mixes a good deal of Robert Louis Stevenson with a dash of H.P. Lovecraft.

Edwards’ (Nightscape: Cynopolis, 2015, etc.) third Nightscape novel opens with a desperate emergency—and it rarely slows down after that. Six passengers are enjoying a pleasure cruise aboard a luxury 58-foot cruising yacht near the Solomon Islands when sudden disaster strikes: their anchor comes loose during the night and their yacht strikes a coral reef, fatally gashing the hull. Everyone is forced to abandon ship and swim in the darkness to the nearest atoll. The six castaways are 26-year-old Atlanta Journal-Constitution journalist Ridge Dantley; his fiancee, Mira; his old friend and former schoolmate at Choate, Aaron; U.S. Sen. Bryant Neeland of Georgia; his chief of staff, Kenny; and Kenny’s latest “flirtation,” Boston Brahmin Paige. They all (barely) make it to the atoll—except for Aaron, who disappears into the night. A grieving Ridge decides to swim to a much bigger island in the distance in hopes of finding a settlement or some fresh water. Instead, he finds a nightmare: an outlaw camp run by a sadistic tyrant named Tarrant who forces his own men, the native Melanesians, and now Ridge, to mine for gold. But from Ridge, he wants one other task: editing a strange work of philosophy that Tarrant’s been writing. Edwards very skillfully intersperses tense action scenes among engaging elaborations of his characters—most interestingly, the aforementioned disillusioned senator, who thinks “with growing vehemence” about the decay of the American dream. The prose can be melodramatic at times, as in this line, during the boating mishap: “From his perspective, high above the water, his friends appeared the hapless victims of some vast Manichean struggle.” However, the pacing is pitch-perfect throughout, and the supernatural elements that reveal themselves later on in the story are smoothly integrated. Also, new readers need not read the earlier volumes in the series to enjoy this one.

Fans of contemporary horror-thrillers will be deeply satisfied by this latest Nightscape outing.

Pub Date: Sept. 22, 2017

ISBN: 978-0-9897487-4-2

Page Count: 318

Publisher: Imperiad Entertainment

Review Posted Online: Oct. 19, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2018

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Unrelenting gloom relieved only occasionally by wrenching trauma; somehow, though, Hannah’s storytelling chops keep the...


Hannah’s sequel to Firefly Lane (2008) demonstrates that those who ignore family history are often condemned to repeat it.

When we last left Kate and Tully, the best friends portrayed in Firefly Lane, the friendship was on rocky ground. Now Kate has died of cancer, and Tully, whose once-stellar TV talk show career is in free fall, is wracked with guilt over her failure to be there for Kate until her very last days. Kate’s death has cemented the distrust between her husband, Johnny, and daughter Marah, who expresses her grief by cutting herself and dropping out of college to hang out with goth poet Paxton. Told mostly in flashbacks by Tully, Johnny, Marah and Tully’s long-estranged mother, Dorothy, aka Cloud, the story piles up disasters like the derailment of a high-speed train. Increasingly addicted to prescription sedatives and alcohol, Tully crashes her car and now hovers near death, attended by Kate’s spirit, as the other characters gather to see what their shortsightedness has wrought. We learn that Tully had tried to parent Marah after her father no longer could. Her hard-drinking decline was triggered by Johnny’s anger at her for keeping Marah and Paxton’s liaison secret. Johnny realizes that he only exacerbated Marah’s depression by uprooting the family from their Seattle home. Unexpectedly, Cloud, who rebuffed Tully’s every attempt to reconcile, also appears at her daughter’s bedside. Sixty-nine years old and finally sober, Cloud details for the first time the abusive childhood, complete with commitments to mental hospitals and electroshock treatments, that led to her life as a junkie lowlife and punching bag for trailer-trash men. Although powerful, Cloud’s largely peripheral story deflects focus away from the main conflict, as if Hannah was loath to tackle the intractable thicket in which she mired her main characters.

Unrelenting gloom relieved only occasionally by wrenching trauma; somehow, though, Hannah’s storytelling chops keep the pages turning even as readers begin to resent being drawn into this masochistic morass.

Pub Date: April 23, 2013

ISBN: 978-0-312-57721-6

Page Count: 416

Publisher: St. Martin's

Review Posted Online: Feb. 18, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2013

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Debut novel by hip-hop rap artist Sister Souljah, whose No Disrespect (1994), which mixes sexual history with political diatribe, is popular in schools country-wide. In its way, this is a tour de force of black English and underworld slang, as finely tuned to its heroine’s voice as Alice Walker’s The Color Purple. The subject matter, though, has a certain flashiness, like a black Godfather family saga, and the heroine’s eventual fall develops only glancingly from her character. Born to a 14-year-old mother during one of New York’s worst snowstorms, Winter Santiaga is the teenaged daughter of Ricky Santiaga, Brooklyn’s top drug dealer, who lives like an Arab prince and treats his wife and four daughters like a queen and her princesses. Winter lost her virginity at 12 and now focuses unwaveringly on varieties of adolescent self-indulgence: sex and sugar-daddies, clothes, and getting her own way. She uses school only as a stepping-stone for getting out of the house—after all, nobody’s paying her to go there. But if there’s no money in it, why go? Meanwhile, Daddy decides it’s time to move out of Brooklyn to truly fancy digs on Long Island, though this places him in the discomfiting position of not being absolutely hands-on with his dealers; and sure enough the rise of some young Turks leads to his arrest. Then he does something really stupid: he murders his wife’s two weak brothers in jail with him on Riker’s Island and gets two consecutive life sentences. Winter’s then on her own, especially with Bullet, who may have replaced her dad as top hood, though when she selfishly fails to help her pregnant buddy Simone, there’s worse—much worse—to come. Thinness aside: riveting stuff, with language so frank it curls your hair. (Author tour)

Pub Date: April 1, 1999

ISBN: 0-671-02578-3

Page Count: 320

Publisher: Pocket

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 1999

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