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RESURRECTION MAN

With bite and brilliance, rising Irish star McNamee burrows deep, to the brutal core of sectarian violence in Belfast, where a young psychokiller is sanctioned for his efforts to raise urban terror to new heights: a chilling, first-rate debut. Victor's dysfunctional family (silent father, bitterly brittle mother) can give no solace when he suffers beatings and false accusations of being the son of a Catholic, but he comes of age as fighting flares in Belfast, giving him ample opportunity to extract his revenge. With his handpicked unit, he quickly gains notoriety by snatching Catholics from the streets and carving them up with the meticulous care and eye of an artiste, before leaving the corpses in provocative poses. His work catches the eye of Catholic journalist Ryan, but no one wants to talk about this particular killer or his work, officially or unofficially. Then Victor is fingered by an informant and jailed, but he has well-placed allies who allow him to kill his betrayer in the man's prison cell and soon regain the streets, where he again takes up his gruesome business in an amphetamine-induced frenzyhe and his gang now honored in graffiti with the name ``Resurrection Men.'' Ryan, meanwhile, after a chance encounter with Victor's girl, Heather, is pulled increasingly into her demimonde by the sinister McClure, Victor's drug supplier, chief adviser, and handler. McClure steers Ryan to one of Victor's victims, still undiscovered, thenbecause the haunted, unstable avenger has become more a liability than an assetsets Victor up for assassination by taking him to visit his stroke-stricken father. The novel's nice guy pales next to his driven, dark-shadowed counterpart, making the bloodletting as rendered the more intenseand the vision of evil unleashing and offing its own demons at will the more profoundly disturbing. An eerie, memorable debut.

Pub Date: Sept. 18, 1995

ISBN: 0-312-13598-X

Page Count: 240

Publisher: Picador

Review Posted Online: June 24, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 1995

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MAGIC HOUR

Wacky plot keeps the pages turning and enduring schmaltzy romantic sequences.

Sisters work together to solve a child-abandonment case.

Ellie and Julia Cates have never been close. Julia is shy and brainy; Ellie gets by on charm and looks. Their differences must be tossed aside when a traumatized young girl wanders in from the forest into their hometown in Washington. The sisters’ professional skills are put to the test. Julia is a world-renowned child psychologist who has lost her edge. She is reeling from a case that went publicly sour. Though she was cleared of all wrongdoing, Julia’s name was tarnished, forcing her to shutter her Beverly Hills practice. Ellie Barton is the local police chief in Rain Valley, who’s never faced a tougher case. This is her chance to prove she is more than just a fading homecoming queen, but a scarcity of clues and a reluctant victim make locating the girl’s parents nearly impossible. Ellie places an SOS call to her sister; she needs an expert to rehabilitate this wild-child who has been living outside of civilization for years. Confronted with her professional demons, Julia once again has the opportunity to display her talents and salvage her reputation. Hannah (The Things We Do for Love, 2004, etc.) is at her best when writing from the girl’s perspective. The feral wolf-child keeps the reader interested long after the other, transparent characters have grown tiresome. Hannah’s torturously over-written romance passages are stale, but there are surprises in store as the sisters set about unearthing Alice’s past and creating a home for her.

Wacky plot keeps the pages turning and enduring schmaltzy romantic sequences.

Pub Date: March 1, 2006

ISBN: 0-345-46752-3

Page Count: 400

Publisher: Ballantine

Review Posted Online: June 24, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2005

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THE CATCHER IN THE RYE

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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