Even more entertaining than its predecessor—a great read.

DIVISIBLE MAN

THE SIXTH PAWN

In this novel, second in a series, a pilot who can float invisibly helps his police-sergeant wife investigate a violent wedding robbery.

Married couple Will Stewart and Andrea “Andy” Taylor aren’t movers and shakers. He’s a regional pilot for Essex County Air Services in Wisconsin, on temporary suspension until the accident that injured him and wrecked his plane is fully investigated. She’s a police sergeant in Essex County, Wisconsin. Nevertheless, they’re attending a society wedding filled with billionaires because Andy belongs to a book club with the bride, kindergarten teacher (and Sen. Bob Stone’s daughter) Sandra, who’s marrying Todd Jameson, a political up-and-comer close to the governor. But the fancy wedding ends in tragedy when masked gunmen burst in, stealing cash gifts and terrorizing the crowd with gunshots—one fatally wounds the bride’s father. Since his accident, for still-unexplained reasons, Will can become invisible and float like an astronaut in space, but he lacks propulsion and is limited by the need for a tether, though he’s been trying to perfect a more reliable propulsion method for “the other thing,” as he dubs his ability. Doing his best, Will uses the other thing to get closer to the bad guys before their escape, and he learns a few details. The one in charge, for example, has a neo-Nazi tattoo on his hand. This clue helps lead Andy to a rural hideout for white supremacists, but signs point to a larger, more sinister political conspiracy. With Sandra now in danger, Andy, Will, and fellow pilot Cassidy Evelyn “Pidge” Page, 22, mount a daring rescue that will test Pidge’s aviation skills to the utmost. But the real behind-the-scenes player remains untouchable thanks to wealth and power—unless Will can bring off a bold and cunning plan. Seaborne (Divisible Man, 2018), a former flight instructor and charter pilot, once again gives readers a crisply written thriller. Even minor observations are sharp: A midcentury motel, for example, looks “like a row of shoe boxes, glued together side by side.” Self-powered flight is a potent fantasy, and Seaborne explores its joys and difficulties engagingly. Will’s narrative voice is amusing, intelligent, and humane; he draws readers in with his wit, appreciation for his wife, and his flight-drunk joy. The dialogue throughout is snappy and does a fine job of revealing character, as, for example, when Earl Jackson, Will’s crusty but heart-of-gold boss, tells Sandra “Your dad and I never fight. I enlighten. He chooses not to be enlightened.” Action, too, illuminates character; for example, a dangerous flying maneuver shows Pidge’s badass, death-defying skill and bravery. Seaborne chooses his villains well, with timely links to torn-from-the-headlines issues like for-profit prisons. The book’s several action set pieces are well-orchestrated and exciting, with big emotional payoffs. The ending is surprising and offers deep satisfaction while also suggesting a new, intriguing direction for Will to use his abilities. Readers will be impatient for the novel’s planned sequel.

Even more entertaining than its predecessor—a great read.

Pub Date: June 6, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-73219-491-5

Page Count: 326

Publisher: Trans World Data

Review Posted Online: July 3, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2018

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The best-selling author of tearjerkers like Angel Falls (2000) serves up yet another mountain of mush, topped off with...

SUMMER ISLAND

Talk-show queen takes tumble as millions jeer.

Nora Bridges is a wildly popular radio spokesperson for family-first virtues, but her loyal listeners don't know that she walked out on her husband and teenaged daughters years ago and didn't look back. Now that a former lover has sold racy pix of naked Nora and horny himself to a national tabloid, her estranged daughter Ruby, an unsuccessful stand-up comic in Los Angeles, has been approached to pen a tell-all. Greedy for the fat fee she's been promised, Ruby agrees and heads for the San Juan Islands, eager to get reacquainted with the mom she plans to betray. Once in the family homestead, nasty Ruby alternately sulks and glares at her mother, who is temporarily wheelchair-bound as a result of a post-scandal car crash. Uncaring, Ruby begins writing her side of the story when she's not strolling on the beach with former sweetheart Dean Sloan, the son of wealthy socialites who basically ignored him and his gay brother Eric. Eric, now dying of cancer and also in a wheelchair, has returned to the island. This dismal threesome catch up on old times, recalling their childhood idylls on the island. After Ruby's perfect big sister Caroline shows up, there's another round of heartfelt talk. Nora gradually reveals the truth about her unloving husband and her late father's alcoholism, which led her to seek the approval of others at the cost of her own peace of mind. And so on. Ruby is aghast to discover that she doesn't know everything after all, but Dean offers her subdued comfort. Happy endings await almost everyone—except for readers of this nobly preachy snifflefest.

The best-selling author of tearjerkers like Angel Falls (2000) serves up yet another mountain of mush, topped off with syrupy platitudes about life and love.

Pub Date: March 1, 2001

ISBN: 0-609-60737-5

Page Count: 336

Publisher: Crown

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2001

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TRUE BETRAYALS

Thoroughbreds and Virginia blue-bloods cavort, commit murder, and fall in love in Roberts's (Hidden Riches, 1994, etc.) latest romantic thriller — this one set in the world of championship horse racing. Rich, sheltered Kelsey Byden is recovering from a recent divorce when she receives a letter from her mother, Naomi, a woman she has believed dead for over 20 years. When Kelsey confronts her genteel English professor father, though, he sheepishly confesses that, no, her mother isn't dead; throughout Kelsey's childhood, she was doing time for the murder of her lover. Kelsey meets with Naomi and not only finds her quite charming, but the owner of Three Willows, one of the most splendid horse farms in Virginia. Kelsey is further intrigued when she meets Gabe Slater, a blue-eyed gambling man who owns a neighboring horse farm; when one of Gabe's horses is mated with Naomi's, nostrils flare, flanks quiver, and the romance is on. Since both Naomi and Gabe have horses entered in the Kentucky Derby, Kelsey is soon swept into the whirlwind of the Triple Crown, in spite of her family's objections to her reconciliation with the notorious Naomi. The rivalry between the two horse farms remains friendly, but other competitors — one of them is Gabe's father, a vicious alcoholic who resents his son's success — prove less scrupulous. Bodies, horse and human, start piling up, just as Kelsey decides to investigate the murky details of her mother's crime. Is it possible she was framed? The ground is thick with no-goods, including haughty patricians, disgruntled grooms, and jockeys with tragic pasts, but despite all the distractions, the identity of the true culprit behind the mayhem — past and present — remains fairly obvious. The plot lopes rather than races to the finish. Gambling metaphors abound, and sexual doings have a distinctly equine tone. But Roberts's style has a fresh, contemporary snap that gets the story past its own worst excesses.

Pub Date: June 13, 1995

ISBN: 0-399-14059-X

Page Count: 400

Publisher: Putnam

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 1995

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