Despite a few bumps, this pulls readers along for a wild ride.



In Hewitt’s debut thriller, a doctor in trouble with the law agrees to oversee a maximum security prison’s medical unit and learns that a notoriously violent inmate may be the answer to combatting the AIDS virus.

After a car accident leaves his date, Cindy, seriously injured, Dr. Jack Randolph has two choices: sit in jail for six months awaiting trial (and possible manslaughter charges if Cindy dies) or become the temporary prison doctor at the Georgia Maximum Security Prison in Lester, Ga. He opts for the latter and, after reviewing inmate files, realizes that prisoner Henry Kirk had tested positive for the HIV virus but that his last couple of tests were negative. Kirk’s blood, therefore, may help develop a cure for AIDS. But getting samples won’t be easy; the inmate is known for his ferocity, including the rape and murder of a prison doctor—Jack’s predecessor. The author doesn’t miss an opportunity to build tension: The book opens with Dr. Amy Bridge entering the prison, and it’s revealed almost immediately that she won’t survive. From there, the suspense escalates slowly but effectively as Kirk initiates his planned assault by convincing guards to take him to medical. The story outside the prison walls is just as successful. Just prior to her accident, Cindy, who works for a corrupt, cocaine-smuggling sheriff, was being followed while on her date with Jack. She has a thumb drive with evidence that could incriminate Sheriff Odum and his right-hand man, Maj. Knowles. While the novel’s first half brims with painstakingly plotted, tension-wrought scenes, the second half feels rushed: Jack takes the prison job as a type of “community service” and learns of Kirk’s condition; the convict cooks up an even more nefarious and elaborate scheme; and Jack and nurse Tacy quickly succumb to their mutual physical attraction, which stretches believability when it becomes a legitimate relationship in record time. Fortunately, the story picks up again once Knowles re-enters the picture. He keeps an eye on Jack and Tacy while looking for the flash drive. Despite the numerous subplots, Hewitt skillfully resolves every one.

Despite a few bumps, this pulls readers along for a wild ride.

Pub Date: Oct. 12, 2013

ISBN: 978-1939927491

Page Count: 296

Publisher: Telemachus Press

Review Posted Online: April 3, 2014

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A strict report, worthy of sympathy.


A violent surfacing of adolescence (which has little in common with Tarkington's earlier, broadly comic, Seventeen) has a compulsive impact.

"Nobody big except me" is the dream world of Holden Caulfield and his first person story is down to the basic, drab English of the pre-collegiate. For Holden is now being bounced from fancy prep, and, after a vicious evening with hall- and roommates, heads for New York to try to keep his latest failure from his parents. He tries to have a wild evening (all he does is pay the check), is terrorized by the hotel elevator man and his on-call whore, has a date with a girl he likes—and hates, sees his 10 year old sister, Phoebe. He also visits a sympathetic English teacher after trying on a drunken session, and when he keeps his date with Phoebe, who turns up with her suitcase to join him on his flight, he heads home to a hospital siege. This is tender and true, and impossible, in its picture of the old hells of young boys, the lonesomeness and tentative attempts to be mature and secure, the awful block between youth and being grown-up, the fright and sickness that humans and their behavior cause the challenging, the dramatization of the big bang. It is a sorry little worm's view of the off-beat of adult pressure, of contemporary strictures and conformity, of sentiment….

A strict report, worthy of sympathy.

Pub Date: June 15, 1951

ISBN: 0316769177

Page Count: -

Publisher: Little, Brown

Review Posted Online: Nov. 2, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 1951

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Shalvis’ latest retains her spark and sizzle.


Piper Manning is determined to sell her family’s property so she can leave her hometown behind, but when her siblings come back with life-changing secrets and her sexy neighbor begins to feel like “The One,” she might have to redo her to-do list.

As children, Piper and her younger siblings, Gavin and Winnie, were sent to live with their grandparents in Wildstone, California, from the Congo after one of Gavin’s friends was killed. Their parents were supposed to meet them later but never made it. Piper wound up being more of a parent than her grandparents, though: “In the end, Piper had done all the raising. It’d taken forever, but now, finally, her brother and sister were off living their own lives.” Piper, the queen of the bullet journal, plans to fix up the family’s lakeside property her grandparents left the three siblings when they died. Selling it will enable her to study to be a physician’s assistant as she’s always wanted. However, just as the goal seems in sight, Gavin and Winnie come home, ostensibly for Piper’s 30th birthday, and then never leave. Turns out, Piper’s brother and sister have recently managed to get into a couple buckets of trouble, and they need some time to reevaluate their options. They aren’t willing to share their problems with Piper, though they’ve been completely open with each other. And Winnie, who’s pregnant, has been very open with Piper’s neighbor Emmitt Reid and his visiting son, Camden, since the baby’s father is Cam’s younger brother, Rowan, who died a few months earlier in a car accident. Everyone has issues to navigate, made more complicated by Gavin and Winnie’s swearing Cam to secrecy just as he and Piper try—and fail—to ignore their attraction to each other. Shalvis keeps the physical and emotional tension high, though the siblings’ refusal to share with Piper becomes tedious and starts to feel childish.

Shalvis’ latest retains her spark and sizzle.

Pub Date: Jan. 28, 2020

ISBN: 978-0-06-296139-6

Page Count: 384

Publisher: Morrow/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: Oct. 28, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 15, 2019

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