Even more entertaining than its predecessor—a great read.




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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Kin “[find] each other’s lives inscrutable” in this rich, sharp story about the way identity is formed.

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Inseparable identical twin sisters ditch home together, and then one decides to vanish.

The talented Bennett fuels her fiction with secrets—first in her lauded debut, The Mothers (2016), and now in the assured and magnetic story of the Vignes sisters, light-skinned women parked on opposite sides of the color line. Desiree, the “fidgety twin,” and Stella, “a smart, careful girl,” make their break from stultifying rural Mallard, Louisiana, becoming 16-year-old runaways in 1954 New Orleans. The novel opens 14 years later as Desiree, fleeing a violent marriage in D.C., returns home with a different relative: her 8-year-old daughter, Jude. The gossips are agog: “In Mallard, nobody married dark....Marrying a dark man and dragging his blueblack child all over town was one step too far.” Desiree's decision seals Jude’s misery in this “colorstruck” place and propels a new generation of flight: Jude escapes on a track scholarship to UCLA. Tending bar as a side job in Beverly Hills, she catches a glimpse of her mother’s doppelgänger. Stella, ensconced in white society, is shedding her fur coat. Jude, so black that strangers routinely stare, is unrecognizable to her aunt. All this is expertly paced, unfurling before the book is half finished; a reader can guess what is coming. Bennett is deeply engaged in the unknowability of other people and the scourge of colorism. The scene in which Stella adopts her white persona is a tour de force of doubling and confusion. It calls up Toni Morrison’s The Bluest Eye, the book's 50-year-old antecedent. Bennett's novel plays with its characters' nagging feelings of being incomplete—for the twins without each other; for Jude’s boyfriend, Reese, who is trans and seeks surgery; for their friend Barry, who performs in drag as Bianca. Bennett keeps all these plot threads thrumming and her social commentary crisp. In the second half, Jude spars with her cousin Kennedy, Stella's daughter, a spoiled actress.

Kin “[find] each other’s lives inscrutable” in this rich, sharp story about the way identity is formed.

Pub Date: June 2, 2020

ISBN: 978-0-525-53629-1

Page Count: 352

Publisher: Riverhead

Review Posted Online: March 15, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 2020

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More Hallmarkiana, from a shameless expert in the genre.


High-stakes weepmeister Sparks (A Walk to Remember, 1999, etc.) opts for a happy ending his fourth time out. His writing has improved—though it's still the equivalent of paint-by-numbers—and he makes use this time of at least a vestige of credible psychology.

That vestige involves the deep dark secret—it has something to do with his father's death when son Taylor was nine—that haunts kind, good 36-year-old local contractor Taylor McAden and makes him withdraw from relationships whenever they start getting serious enough to maybe get permanent. He's done this twice before, and now he does it again with pretty and sweet single mother Denise Holton, age 29, who's moved from Atlanta to Taylor's town of Edenton, North Carolina, in order to devote her time more fully to training her four-year-old son Kyle to overcome the peculiar impediment he has that keeps him from achieving normal language acquisition. Okay? When Denise has a car accident in a bad storm, she's rescued by volunteer fireman Taylor—who also rescues little Kyle after he wanders away from his injured mom in the storm. Love blooms in the weeks that follow—until Taylor suddenly begins putting on the brakes. What is it that holds him back, when there just isn't any question but that he loves Denise and vice versa-not to mention that he's "great" with Kyle, just like a father? It will require a couple of near-death experiences (as fireman Taylor bravely risks his life to save others); emotional steadiness from the intelligent, good, true Denise; and the terrible death of a dear and devoted friend before Taylor will come to the point at last of confiding to Denise the terrible memory of how his father died—and the guilt that's been its legacy to Taylor. The psychological dam broken, love will at last be able to flow.

More Hallmarkiana, from a shameless expert in the genre.

Pub Date: Sept. 19, 2000

ISBN: 0-446-52550-2

Page Count: 352

Publisher: N/A

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2000

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