A passionate and timely political tale that will appeal to the anti-Trump choir but likely won’t create many converts.



From the Imogen & Isaiah series , Vol. 1

The murder of a “third-rate hack of a political consultant” triggers the plot of this debut novel.

Isaiah Whitman, a political activist, recalls the events that led him to a holding room at the Modesto, California, police department. He’s awaiting questioning regarding the death of Corey Strutsky, who was found shot in Whitman’s office. Whitman, who was once known as one of Silicon Valley’s “Rising Stars,” sold his business a while ago. Donald Trump’s election deeply concerned him and his twin sister, causing them to seek out “volunteer opportunities, and a path back to the nation we thought we knew.” They focused their attention on a California congressional race between Republican, white evangelical Mike Reed, and Latina community activist Sylvia Delgado, a Democrat. But they weren’t satisfied with simply making phone calls for Delgado. Whitman, a biracial man who’s long been “passing” for white, hatched an elaborate plot to pose as a supporter of Reed. He formed a political-action committee and targeted white, working-class voters who once voted for Barack Obama but swung to Trump. However, he didn’t want to win them over to Reed’s side; instead, he used deliberately racist rhetoric in order to horrify them into abandoning their Republican-voting ways. He hired Strutsky as a consultant who would “take messaging where others fear to tread.” But was Whitman using Strutsky, or was Strutsky using him? Although Hunt-Logan’s novel is billed as a “political mystery,” it reads more like an anti-Trump polemic—complete with citations to support arguments and data points. It may effectively serve as a call-to-action to non-voters who sat out the 2016 election; one character, for example, “excoriated friends who had told her they weren’t volunteering, as they ‘just weren’t that excited about Hillary.’ She said, ‘I hope they’re excited now.’ ” Still, many readers may find that the book displays more passion than it does nuance. Still, Hunt-Logan’s message is keenly felt, clearly urging readers to get politically engaged in the upcoming midterms—and beyond.

A passionate and timely political tale that will appeal to the anti-Trump choir but likely won’t create many converts.

Pub Date: July 16, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-73247-680-6

Page Count: 292

Publisher: Skyline Ridge Press

Review Posted Online: Sept. 27, 2018

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A love letter to the power of books and friendship.

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Women become horseback librarians in 1930s Kentucky and face challenges from the landscape, the weather, and the men around them.

Alice thought marrying attractive American Bennett Van Cleve would be her ticket out of her stifling life in England. But when she and Bennett settle in Baileyville, Kentucky, she realizes that her life consists of nothing more than staying in their giant house all day and getting yelled at by his unpleasant father, who owns a coal mine. She’s just about to resign herself to a life of boredom when an opportunity presents itself in the form of a traveling horseback library—an initiative from Eleanor Roosevelt meant to counteract the devastating effects of the Depression by focusing on literacy and learning. Much to the dismay of her husband and father-in-law, Alice signs up and soon learns the ropes from the library’s leader, Margery. Margery doesn’t care what anyone thinks of her, rejects marriage, and would rather be on horseback than in a kitchen. And even though all this makes Margery a town pariah, Alice quickly grows to like her. Along with several other women (including one black woman, Sophia, whose employment causes controversy in a town that doesn’t believe black and white people should be allowed to use the same library), Margery and Alice supply magazines, Bible stories, and copies of books like Little Women to the largely poor residents who live in remote areas. Alice spends long days in terrible weather on horseback, but she finally feels happy in her new life in Kentucky, even as her marriage to Bennett is failing. But her powerful father-in-law doesn’t care for Alice’s job or Margery’s lifestyle, and he’ll stop at nothing to shut their library down. Basing her novel on the true story of the Pack Horse Library Project established by the Works Progress Administration in the 1930s, Moyes (Still Me, 2018, etc.) brings an often forgotten slice of history to life. She writes about Kentucky with lush descriptions of the landscape and tender respect for the townspeople, most of whom are poor, uneducated, and grateful for the chance to learn. Although Alice and Margery both have their own romances, the true power of the story is in the bonds between the women of the library. They may have different backgrounds, but their commitment to helping the people of Baileyville brings them together.

A love letter to the power of books and friendship.

Pub Date: Oct. 8, 2019

ISBN: 978-0-399-56248-8

Page Count: 400

Publisher: Pamela Dorman/Viking

Review Posted Online: July 1, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2019

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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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