An excellent, though disturbing, look at a woman’s desperate search for closure.


From the Doctors of Darkness series , Vol. 2

The second novel in the Doctors of Darkness series follows a psychologist and murderer 23 years after incidents that changed their lives forever.

On Friday, May 13, 1994, 13-year-old orphan Evie Allcott and her best (and only) friend Cassie, clutching their cherry Slurpees, accepted a ride from a stranger. Now, in 2017, Evie, a widowed 36-year-old psychologist for sex offenders, is still deeply affected by that night—even though she can’t fully recall it. She believes that Cassie was strangled by a man at “the hanging tree,” a disturbing landmark in their city of Oakland, California. In a desperate search for answers, Evie hitchhikes every other Friday, hoping for a dangerous situation to jog her memory. One night, someone does try to kill her, although it doesn’t make her remember the old crime; however, 41-year-old Butch Calder, who knew Evie in their youth, saves her. Back in 1994, Butch strangled his childhood crush after she rejected him, and he was only recently released from prison. The story alternates between the two main characters’ perspectives, jumping between 1994 and events in 2017, such as the addition of troubled Sebastian Delacourt to Evie’s therapy sessions. When another young girl is murdered at the hanging tree, detectives work to find the culprit, and Evie withholds some information from them. In the end, she grapples with a familiar question: “how do you destroy a devil without becoming one?” The story, by real-life psychologist Kane (Daddy Darkest, 2017, etc.), provides a captivating look into its characters’ complicated minds, and a psychological study of the effects of childhood distress: It’s revealed that Gwen’s wealthy father neglected her, which led to her kleptomaniac behavior, and Evie watched her mother die of a heroin overdose at the hands of a pimp, which may have led her to want to help people as an adult. The fast-paced story flows with precision, and Kane’s decision to reveal the crimes early on, before building up to the 1994 murder, generates genuine suspense. However, readers should be warned that this book deals with very sensitive subjects, including pedophilia and rape.

An excellent, though disturbing, look at a woman’s desperate search for closure.

Pub Date: April 1, 2018

ISBN: 978-0-692-05359-1

Page Count: 384

Publisher: Time Tunnel Media

Review Posted Online: July 23, 2018

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The phrase “tour de force” could have been invented for this audacious novel.

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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. 21, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2015

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Dated sermonizing on career versus motherhood, and conflict driven by characters’ willed helplessness, sap this tale of...


Lifelong, conflicted friendship of two women is the premise of Hannah’s maudlin latest (Magic Hour, 2006, etc.), again set in Washington State.

Tallulah “Tully” Hart, father unknown, is the daughter of a hippie, Cloud, who makes only intermittent appearances in her life. Tully takes refuge with the family of her “best friend forever,” Kate Mularkey, who compares herself unfavorably with Tully, in regards to looks and charisma. In college, “TullyandKate” pledge the same sorority and major in communications. Tully has a life goal for them both: They will become network TV anchorwomen. Tully lands an internship at KCPO-TV in Seattle and finagles a producing job for Kate. Kate no longer wishes to follow Tully into broadcasting and is more drawn to fiction writing, but she hesitates to tell her overbearing friend. Meanwhile a love triangle blooms at KCPO: Hard-bitten, irresistibly handsome, former war correspondent Johnny is clearly smitten with Tully. Expecting rejection, Kate keeps her infatuation with Johnny secret. When Tully lands a reporting job with a Today-like show, her career shifts into hyperdrive. Johnny and Kate had started an affair once Tully moved to Manhattan, and when Kate gets pregnant with daughter Marah, they marry. Kate is content as a stay-at-home mom, but frets about being Johnny’s second choice and about her unrealized writing ambitions. Tully becomes Seattle’s answer to Oprah. She hires Johnny, which spells riches for him and Kate. But Kate’s buttons are fully depressed by pitched battles over slutwear and curfews with teenaged Marah, who idolizes her godmother Tully. In an improbable twist, Tully invites Kate and Marah to resolve their differences on her show, only to blindside Kate by accusing her, on live TV, of overprotecting Marah. The BFFs are sundered. Tully’s latest attempt to salvage Cloud fails: The incorrigible, now geriatric hippie absconds once more. Just as Kate develops a spine, she’s given some devastating news. Will the friends reconcile before it’s too late?

Dated sermonizing on career versus motherhood, and conflict driven by characters’ willed helplessness, sap this tale of poignancy.

Pub Date: Feb. 1, 2008

ISBN: 978-0-312-36408-3

Page Count: 496

Publisher: St. Martin's

Review Posted Online: May 19, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 1, 2007

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