A short, fast-paced historical novel with well-developed characters and settings.



Moore’s debut drama, set in the years before and after the collapse of the Berlin Wall, tells of three German families who fall prey to the Stasi secret police.

In 1983, a Stasi agent pressures Rudi Kessler, a butcher barely making ends meet, to supply information on two childhood friends: civil servant Karl and post-office worker Helmut. Both of them are allegedly passing intelligence to the enemy via microdots, and they each subsequently vanish. Rudi’s son, Alex, meanwhile, joins the Stasi; Karl’s son, Paul, becomes paranoid that other people, including waiters, are listening to his conversations. Years after the 1990 German reunification, Paul learns the identity of the person responsible for reporting his father to the secret police. As it happens, it’s the same man who was blackmailed by a former Stasi officer into marrying Paul’s cousin, Helga, as part of an intricate plan to recover stolen diamonds. Moore’s novel is so rich in history and character detail that it’s exciting even without the Stasi subplot, as Alex helps his mother find safety in democratic Denmark; Paul weds Englishwoman Rachel and makes a new life in the UK; and Helga’s new family faces tragedy as she loses her husband. Alex is one of the book’s more unsavory characters but also the most captivating; he’s generally disliked by people he knows, which is sublimely manifested in his repulsive habit of constantly sniffing. In one highlight, a notoriously violent Stasi thug grabs Alex, who denies his identity—before immediately sniffing and giving the ruse away. Moore incorporates the historical backdrop effectively, particularly the 1989 fall of the Berlin Wall, which serves as a palpable turning point; characters’ lives change swiftly and drastically, particularly those of former Stasi members. The story’s final act takes place in 2009, near the event’s 20-year anniversary. The novel feels a bit rushed at the end, as Stasi officers scramble to get their mitts on the diamonds. However, the unforgettable climax involves a multitude of characters—and not everyone’s left standing by the time it’s over.

A short, fast-paced historical novel with well-developed characters and settings.

Pub Date: Jan. 9, 2014

ISBN: 978-1491887332

Page Count: 182

Publisher: AuthorHouseUK

Review Posted Online: Sept. 4, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1, 2014

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A romantic, sad, and ultimately hopeful book that’s perfect for fans of Jojo Moyes.


In Walsh’s American debut, a woman desperately tries to find out why the man she spent a whirlwind week with never called.

Sarah has just separated from her American husband and is visiting her hometown in England when she meets Eddie. He’s kind and charming, and although they only spend one week together, she falls in love. When he has to leave for a trip, she knows they’ll keep in touch—they’re already making plans for the rest of their lives. But then Eddie never calls, and Sarah’s increasingly frantic efforts to contact him are fruitless. Is he hurt? Is he dead? As her friends tell her, there’s a far greater likelihood that he’s just blowing her off—she’s been ghosted. After trying to track Eddie down at a football game, Sarah starts to become ashamed of herself—after all, she’s almost 40 years old and she’s essentially stalking a man who never called her. But as Sarah slowly learns, she and Eddie didn’t actually meet randomly—they both have a connection to an accident that happened years ago, and it may have something to do with why he disappeared. The tension quickly amps up as the secrets of Eddie’s and Sarah’s pasts are revealed, and the truth behind their connection is genuinely surprising and heartbreaking. The barriers between Sarah and Eddie seem insurmountable at times, and although their issues are resolved in a tidy manner, the emotions behind their actions are always believable. Walsh has created a deeply moving romance with an intriguing mystery and a touching portrait of grief at its heart.

A romantic, sad, and ultimately hopeful book that’s perfect for fans of Jojo Moyes.

Pub Date: July 24, 2018

ISBN: 978-0-525-52277-5

Page Count: 352

Publisher: Pamela Dorman/Viking

Review Posted Online: May 1, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15, 2018

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An ambitious and bewitching gem of a book with mystery and passion inscribed on every page.

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A withdrawn graduate student embarks on an epic quest to restore balance to the world in this long-anticipated follow-up to The Night Circus (2011).

Zachary Ezra Rawlins is a typical millennial introvert; he likes video games, escapist reading, and drinking sidecars. But when he recognizes himself in the pages of a mysterious book from the university library, he's unnerved—and determined to uncover the truth. What begins as a journey for answers turns into something much bigger, and Zachary must decide whether to trust the handsome stranger he meets at a highflying literary fundraiser in New York or to retreat back to his thesis and forget the whole affair. In a high-wire feat of metatextual derring-do, Morgenstern weaves Zachary's adventure into a stunning array of linked fables, myths, and origin stories. There are pirates and weary travelers, painters who can see the future, lovers torn asunder, a menacing Owl King, and safe harbors for all the stories of the world, far below the Earth on the golden shores of a Starless Sea. Clocking in at more than 500 pages, the novel requires patience as Morgenstern puts all the pieces in place, but it is exquisitely pleasurable to watch the gears of this epic fantasy turn once they're set in motion. As in The Night Circus, Morgenstern is at her best when she imagines worlds and rooms and parties in vivid detail, right down to the ballroom stairs "festooned with lanterns and garlands of paper dipped in gold" or a cloak carved from ice with "ships and sailors and sea monsters...lost in the drifting snow." This novel is a love letter to readers as much as an invitation: Come and see how much magic is left in the world. Fans of Neil Gaiman and V.E. Schwab, Kelly Link and Susanna Clarke will want to heed the call.

An ambitious and bewitching gem of a book with mystery and passion inscribed on every page.

Pub Date: Nov. 5, 2019

ISBN: 978-0-385-54121-3

Page Count: 512

Publisher: Doubleday

Review Posted Online: Aug. 4, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2019

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