CUBA LIBRE

Leonard goes back to his mots, and modern America's, in this rollicking Cuban western/suspenser, to be published on the 100th anniverary of the U.S.S. Maine's explosion. All Ben Tyler is looking for is to make a few fast dollars. Cowpunching in Arizona hasn't worked, or robbing banks either, so he agrees to join his friend Charlie Burke in exporting a string of horses to Cuba, though he just can't see how they stand to make any money on the deal. Unfortunately, Ben and Charlie have picked a historically bad moment for their tropical excursion: They make port just in time to remember the Maine indeed, and suddenly there are more complications than just paying prohibitive import duties, bribing officials and gobetweens, and holding their buyer—impassive, treacherous, polo-playing sugar baron Roland Boudreanx—to the price he's promised them. The US is determined to free Cuba from Spanish rule, but not so completely that the island will be independent—only enough so that American capitalists can step into the breach. In other words, the three-cornered conflict—which Ben & Co. waste no time adding more corners to—is nothing more than a classic Leonard seam writ large, the perfect background for the easygoing hero's lesser chicanery. Before Ben can begin to finger the goodies, though, a little disagreement between him and a Spanish hussar with easily inflamed honor lands him in prison along with a Marine casualty of the Maine who's been spirited out of the hospital, it seems, for the express purpose of rotting in jail. All would be lost if it weren't for Rollie Boudreaux's wide-awake courtesan Amelia Brown, who's got the world's best motive for breaking Ben out of stir. Carbines blazing, horses snorting, battles raging, the heroes drive the villains to a stalemate—and then prepare to battle each other. Top entertainment from the pro's pro (Out of Sight, 1996, etc.): a million greedy schemes with time-outs for war and sex.

Pub Date: Feb. 15, 1998

ISBN: 0-385-32383-2

Page Count: 352

Publisher: Delacorte

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 15, 1997

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TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD

A first novel, this is also a first person account of Scout's (Jean Louise) recall of the years that led to the ending of a mystery, the breaking of her brother Jem's elbow, the death of her father's enemy — and the close of childhood years. A widower, Atticus raises his children with legal dispassion and paternal intelligence, and is ably abetted by Calpurnia, the colored cook, while the Alabama town of Maycomb, in the 1930's, remains aloof to their divergence from its tribal patterns. Scout and Jem, with their summer-time companion, Dill, find their paths free from interference — but not from dangers; their curiosity about the imprisoned Boo, whose miserable past is incorporated in their play, results in a tentative friendliness; their fears of Atticus' lack of distinction is dissipated when he shoots a mad dog; his defense of a Negro accused of raping a white girl, Mayella Ewell, is followed with avid interest and turns the rabble whites against him. Scout is the means of averting an attack on Atticus but when he loses the case it is Boo who saves Jem and Scout by killing Mayella's father when he attempts to murder them. The shadows of a beginning for black-white understanding, the persistent fight that Scout carries on against school, Jem's emergence into adulthood, Calpurnia's quiet power, and all the incidents touching on the children's "growing outward" have an attractive starchiness that keeps this southern picture pert and provocative. There is much advance interest in this book; it has been selected by the Literary Guild and Reader's Digest; it should win many friends.

Pub Date: July 11, 1960

ISBN: 0060935464

Page Count: 323

Publisher: Lippincott

Review Posted Online: Oct. 7, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 1960

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There are unforgettable beauties in this very sexy story.

TELL ME LIES

Passion, friendship, heartbreak, and forgiveness ring true in Lovering's debut, the tale of a young woman's obsession with a man who's "good at being charming."

Long Island native Lucy Albright, starts her freshman year at Baird College in Southern California, intending to study English and journalism and become a travel writer. Stephen DeMarco, an upperclassman, is a political science major who plans to become a lawyer. Soon after they meet, Lucy tells Stephen an intensely personal story about the Unforgivable Thing, a betrayal that turned Lucy against her mother. Stephen pretends to listen to Lucy's painful disclosure, but all his thoughts are about her exposed black bra strap and her nipples pressing against her thin cotton T-shirt. It doesn't take Lucy long to realize Stephen's a "manipulative jerk" and she is "beyond pathetic" in her desire for him, but their lives are now intertwined. Their story takes seven years to unfold, but it's a fast-paced ride through hookups, breakups, and infidelities fueled by alcohol and cocaine and with oodles of sizzling sexual tension. "Lucy was an itch, a song stuck in your head or a movie you need to rewatch or a food you suddenly crave," Stephen says in one of his point-of-view chapters, which alternate with Lucy's. The ending is perfect, as Lucy figures out the dark secret Stephen has kept hidden and learns the difference between lustful addiction and mature love.

There are unforgettable beauties in this very sexy story.

Pub Date: June 12, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-5011-6964-9

Page Count: 352

Publisher: Atria

Review Posted Online: March 20, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 2018

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