A quiet thriller that succeeds in mirroring life’s complex and jarring pathways.



In this debut novel, a teenage girl displays disturbing behavior while her frayed home life worsens.

The year is 1989, and 16-year-old Lucia Goldman lives with her mother, Valerie, in a shabby London apartment. Lucia has two older half-siblings from Valerie’s first marriage, Ben and Tim. The girl’s father, Colin, has grown emotionally distant since remarrying and retiring to Spain. Worst of all, Valerie drinks and frequently vents her frustration with life on her daughter, which leads to shouting matches and even physical violence. Lucia loathes her mother and uses pain, like radiator burns, to dull the present moment (“Pain pauses time”). Stress also causes a strange pulse to throb between her legs. One evening, Lucia is concentrating on homework when she discovers some water staining her paper. She can’t discern how it got there, but the notion of a leak in the apartment gives her mother hysterical flashbacks to a flood in 1979. The novelty of the situation energizes Lucia, and so she starts spilling water here and there in secret. When Ben becomes involved, he calls out Lucia for the mischief. But the situation becomes serious when a malicious force introduces itself as Ginger and warns Lucia: “Kill or I will.” Does this poltergeist have something to do with Colin’s disconnect from his daughter? In this charged, though delicately wrought period piece, Solomon flashes between 1989 and Lucia’s earlier years visiting her father. Sedate and eerie prose employs the senses fabulously, as in the line “She studies the patch of water. It looks like a goat’s head with horns from where she stands.” Certain details of Lucia’s childhood, including sharing a bed with her father, are odd at first. Later, Colin’s mental health deteriorates and creeping realizations hit Lucia and readers simultaneously. Throughout, seeing her suffer a traumatic adolescence is heartbreaking, and it is to the author’s credit that this narrative proceeds much like a memoir. A psychic investigator speaks to readers in their darkest moments when he tells Lucia: “Flow with life, my child, not against it.”

A quiet thriller that succeeds in mirroring life’s complex and jarring pathways.

Pub Date: Feb. 27, 2019


Page Count: 371

Publisher: Time Tunnel Media

Review Posted Online: July 3, 2019

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

A tasty, if not always tasteful, tale of supernatural mayhem that fans of King and Crichton alike will enjoy.


Are we not men? We are—well, ask Bigfoot, as Brooks does in this delightful yarn, following on his bestseller World War Z (2006).

A zombie apocalypse is one thing. A volcanic eruption is quite another, for, as the journalist who does a framing voice-over narration for Brooks’ latest puts it, when Mount Rainier popped its cork, “it was the psychological aspect, the hyperbole-fueled hysteria that had ended up killing the most people.” Maybe, but the sasquatches whom the volcano displaced contributed to the statistics, too, if only out of self-defense. Brooks places the epicenter of the Bigfoot war in a high-tech hideaway populated by the kind of people you might find in a Jurassic Park franchise: the schmo who doesn’t know how to do much of anything but tries anyway, the well-intentioned bleeding heart, the know-it-all intellectual who turns out to know the wrong things, the immigrant with a tough backstory and an instinct for survival. Indeed, the novel does double duty as a survival manual, packed full of good advice—for instance, try not to get wounded, for “injury turns you from a giver to a taker. Taking up our resources, our time to care for you.” Brooks presents a case for making room for Bigfoot in the world while peppering his narrative with timely social criticism about bad behavior on the human side of the conflict: The explosion of Rainier might have been better forecast had the president not slashed the budget of the U.S. Geological Survey, leading to “immediate suspension of the National Volcano Early Warning System,” and there’s always someone around looking to monetize the natural disaster and the sasquatch-y onslaught that follows. Brooks is a pro at building suspense even if it plays out in some rather spectacularly yucky episodes, one involving a short spear that takes its name from “the sucking sound of pulling it out of the dead man’s heart and lungs.” Grossness aside, it puts you right there on the scene.

A tasty, if not always tasteful, tale of supernatural mayhem that fans of King and Crichton alike will enjoy.

Pub Date: June 16, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-9848-2678-7

Page Count: 304

Publisher: Del Rey/Ballantine

Review Posted Online: Feb. 10, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2020

Did you like this book?

Dark and unsettling, this novel’s end arrives abruptly even as readers are still moving at a breakneck speed.


Ten years after her teenage daughter went missing, a mother begins a new relationship only to discover she can't truly move on until she answers lingering questions about the past.

Laurel Mack’s life stopped in many ways the day her 15-year-old daughter, Ellie, left the house to study at the library and never returned. She drifted away from her other two children, Hanna and Jake, and eventually she and her husband, Paul, divorced. Ten years later, Ellie’s remains and her backpack are found, though the police are unable to determine the reasons for her disappearance and death. After Ellie’s funeral, Laurel begins a relationship with Floyd, a man she meets in a cafe. She's disarmed by Floyd’s charm, but when she meets his young daughter, Poppy, Laurel is startled by her resemblance to Ellie. As the novel progresses, Laurel becomes increasingly determined to learn what happened to Ellie, especially after discovering an odd connection between Poppy’s mother and her daughter even as her relationship with Floyd is becoming more serious. Jewell’s (I Found You, 2017, etc.) latest thriller moves at a brisk pace even as she plays with narrative structure: The book is split into three sections, including a first one which alternates chapters between the time of Ellie’s disappearance and the present and a second section that begins as Laurel and Floyd meet. Both of these sections primarily focus on Laurel. In the third section, Jewell alternates narrators and moments in time: The narrator switches to alternating first-person points of view (told by Poppy’s mother and Floyd) interspersed with third-person narration of Ellie’s experiences and Laurel’s discoveries in the present. All of these devices serve to build palpable tension, but the structure also contributes to how deeply disturbing the story becomes. At times, the characters and the emotional core of the events are almost obscured by such quick maneuvering through the weighty plot.

Dark and unsettling, this novel’s end arrives abruptly even as readers are still moving at a breakneck speed.

Pub Date: April 24, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-5011-5464-5

Page Count: 368

Publisher: Atria

Review Posted Online: Feb. 6, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 2018

Did you like this book?