FROM THE HEIGHTS by Douglas J. Vaughn

FROM THE HEIGHTS

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Life comes full circle in this New York City drama of love, loyalty, jealousy and betrayal.

Even though his family’s wealth and status grew exponentially during his childhood, Danny Blaine never forgot his early years growing up in Manhattan’s Washington Heights. Danny especially never forgot his friend Val Greene or how Val saved him from drowning after they jumped into the Harlem River when they were 13. Years later, Danny’s plans to get engaged to publishing heiress Mandy Gardener are put on hold when World War II breaks out. After nearly drowning again when his ship is sunk during the Battle of Midway, he returns home on leave from the Navy and drives up to the Heights for old times’ sake. When he reaches the old neighborhood, he spots an older but familiar face on a man wearing an Army uniform. Catching up with Val, Danny tells him that a friend of his father’s may be able to get him into an intelligence unit and encourages Val to join with him. The two are assigned to an espionage unit in Italy but are separated after a mission toward the end of the war. Danny returns to the States but finds himself not so eager to marry the increasingly impatient Mandy. Things become more complicated when he falls for a woman he meets on the subway. Vaughn’s epic melodrama packs in almost every possible twist, turn, coincidence and intrigue it can. His characters are all well-worn archetypes, and his plot devices are fairly standard soap-opera fare, but he weaves them together so well that readers will find it hard not to get drawn in. The fact that all of his scenes and spanning decades are rendered in well-researched detail, from Washington Heights to Southampton, from Italy to Vietnam, seals the deal.

A whopper of a New York story.

Pub Date: April 5th, 2007
ISBN: 978-1-4259-7330-8
Page count: 591pp
Program: Kirkus Indie
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