A first-rate and undaunted protagonist easily carries this brisk crime tale—and ongoing series.

Perfectly Good Crime

A KATE BRADLEY MYSTERY

A TV news reporter finds a great story—and a mystery—when someone starts stealing from Los Angeles’ wealthiest homeowners.

Kate Bradley’s not happy that Channel 11 bumps her story of a devastating train wreck for a burglary, especially when it’s not even a celebrity’s house. But she changes her mind when cop friend and secret inside source Detective Jake Newton can get her exclusive access to another robbery with the same M.O. Someone’s bypassing high-tech security systems and making off with millions in cash and goods in record time. Homes of L.A.’s richest are the discernible targets, and it’s hardly surprising that the public’s not very sympathetic. Things take a startling turn when a fire breaks out during a burglary in progress, culminating in one thief injured and another caught on camera. The latter contacts Kate, wanting viewers to know that the culprits aren’t bad people, championed by an unknown leader, directing the crimes via earpiece and talking of changing the world. Kate’s already got a lot going on, with Jake’s inexplicable disappearance and a dream job offer that would take her to New York and away from fire captain boyfriend Eric Hayes. But if she can find the motive for the robberies, she can at least expose the person behind it all. Complications abound in this tale in exhilarating fashion: a possible clue vanishing from a crime scene and the news story leading into the world of online gaming. But nothing’s as gleefully complex as the protagonist herself. Kate, for one, is a senator’s daughter, which may get her connections to the affluent victims but likewise burdens her with expectations of spinning reports to favor Dad’s rich pals. Meserve (Good Sam, 2014) delivers a mystery that’s generally sound, although most readers will figure it out well before Kate. What holds the most weight is Kate’s perpetual conflict as a reporter; she’s made a successful career from covering stories of tragedy but she’s later horrified when witnessing a murdered high schooler’s grieving mother. Kate’s intuitive and professional, but it’s her steadfast compassion that makes her truly remarkable.

A first-rate and undaunted protagonist easily carries this brisk crime tale—and ongoing series.

Pub Date: N/A

ISBN: 978-0-9914499-3-4

Page Count: -

Publisher: Melrose Hill Publishing

Review Posted Online: June 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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A steamy, glitzy, and tender tale of college intrigue.

THE CHASE

From the Briar U series

In this opener to Kennedy’s (Hot & Bothered, 2017, etc.) Briar U romance series, two likable students keep getting their signals crossed.

Twenty-one-year-old Summer Heyward-Di Laurentis is expelled from Brown University in the middle of her junior year because she was responsible for a fire at the Kappa Beta Nu sorority house. Fortunately, her father has connections, so she’s now enrolled in Briar University, a prestigious institution about an hour outside Boston. But as she’s about to move into Briar’s Kappa Beta Nu house, she’s asked to leave by the sisters, who don’t want her besmirching their reputation. Her older brother Dean, who’s a former Briar hockey star, comes to her rescue; his buddies, who are still on the hockey team, need a fourth roommate for their townhouse. Three good-looking hockey jocks and a very rich, gorgeous fashion major under the same roof—what could go wrong? Summer becomes quickly infatuated with one of her housemates: Dean’s best friend Colin “Fitzy” Fitzgerald. There’s a definite spark between them, and they exchange smoldering looks, but the tattooed Fitzy, who’s also a video game reviewer and designer, is an introvert who prefers no “drama” in his life. Summer, however, is a charming extrovert, although she has an inferiority complex about her flagging scholastic acumen. As the story goes on, the pair seem to misinterpret each other’s every move. Meanwhile, another roommate and potential suitor, Hunter Davenport, is waiting in the wings. Kennedy’s novel is full of sex, alcohol, and college-level profanity, but it never becomes formulaic. The author adroitly employs snappy dialogue, steady pacing, and humor, as in a scene at a runway fashion show featuring Briar jocks parading in Summer-designed swimwear. The book also manages to touch on some serious subjects, including learning disabilities and abusive behavior by faculty members. Summer and Fitzy’s repeated stumbles propel the plot through engaging twists and turns; the characters trade off narrating the story, which gives each of them a chance to reveal some substance.

A steamy, glitzy, and tender tale of college intrigue.    

Pub Date: Aug. 6, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-72482-199-7

Page Count: 372

Publisher: CreateSpace

Review Posted Online: Jan. 28, 2019

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