An exciting, original thriller with strong, appealing characters—readers will be eager for further installments.

TEMPLE OF GOLD

From the Lenny and Lucas Adventure series , Vol. 1

In this military thriller, an American Marine and an Australian Special Forces soldier investigate an ex-Khmer Rouge general’s secret jungle camp. 

By 1983, 23-year-old Lenny Cox has been a Marine for almost six years. His job often requires him “to do things that walked a fine moral line,” but his intelligence also requires him to question that fine line. For example, whF is America providing equipment—metal detectors and Geiger counters, apparently—to Gen. Tan, lately of the Khmer Rouge? Cox asks, “Aren’t the Khmer Rouge the bad guys?” According to Ventura, his CIA liaison, the matter is above Cox’s pay grade. According to Alice Brooks, Lenny’s girlfriend and legal attaché for the Department of Justice, America’s stance is about opposing the current Russian-backed regime in Kampuchea. Khmer Rouge, in hiding, is backed by China; Russia has nukes, while the Chinese don’t. But according to Professor Ung, a Cambodian archaeologist, Tan is greedily searching for a lost “temple of gold.” Whatever the purpose, Lenny agrees with his new friend Lucas Burnside, an Australian Special Air Service Regiment, that intel photos suggest that Tan is working people to death to accomplish his goals. Defying the rules, Lenny and Lucas helicopter into the jungle to find the truth and, they hope, protect innocents. In their rescue mission, they’ll encounter danger, a hidden temple, and a hungry tiger. Stewart (Red Shirt, 2018, etc.), a prolific writer of thrillers and mysteries, delivers top-notch action in his latest outing, billed as Book 1 in a series. He provides a great mix of military know-how, local color, good characterization, and compassion for the world’s “poor buggers” who need protecting. The mystery veers in some unexpected directions, with dramatic developments and settings. Stewart intelligently unfolds the story’s complicated geopolitical background in naturalistic conversation that doesn’t ever scream “exposition.” Seeing Lenny and Lucas’s bromance-y friendship develop from mutual admiration to bantering familiarity is also a pleasure.

An exciting, original thriller with strong, appealing characters—readers will be eager for further installments.

Pub Date: May 9, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-945741-20-3

Page Count: 268

Publisher: Jacaranda Drive

Review Posted Online: July 9, 2019

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TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD

A first novel, this is also a first person account of Scout's (Jean Louise) recall of the years that led to the ending of a mystery, the breaking of her brother Jem's elbow, the death of her father's enemy — and the close of childhood years. A widower, Atticus raises his children with legal dispassion and paternal intelligence, and is ably abetted by Calpurnia, the colored cook, while the Alabama town of Maycomb, in the 1930's, remains aloof to their divergence from its tribal patterns. Scout and Jem, with their summer-time companion, Dill, find their paths free from interference — but not from dangers; their curiosity about the imprisoned Boo, whose miserable past is incorporated in their play, results in a tentative friendliness; their fears of Atticus' lack of distinction is dissipated when he shoots a mad dog; his defense of a Negro accused of raping a white girl, Mayella Ewell, is followed with avid interest and turns the rabble whites against him. Scout is the means of averting an attack on Atticus but when he loses the case it is Boo who saves Jem and Scout by killing Mayella's father when he attempts to murder them. The shadows of a beginning for black-white understanding, the persistent fight that Scout carries on against school, Jem's emergence into adulthood, Calpurnia's quiet power, and all the incidents touching on the children's "growing outward" have an attractive starchiness that keeps this southern picture pert and provocative. There is much advance interest in this book; it has been selected by the Literary Guild and Reader's Digest; it should win many friends.

Pub Date: July 11, 1960

ISBN: 0060935464

Page Count: 323

Publisher: Lippincott

Review Posted Online: Oct. 7, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 1960

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ONE DAY IN THE LIFE OF IVAN DENISOVICH

While a few weeks ago it seemed as if Praeger would have a two month lead over Dutton in their presentation of this Soviet best seller, both the "authorized" edition (Dutton's) and the "unauthorized" (Praeger's) will appear almost simultaneously. There has been considerable advance attention on what appears to be as much of a publishing cause celebre here as the original appearance of the book in Russia. Without entering into the scrimmage, or dismissing it as a plague on both your houses, we will limit ourselves to a few facts. Royalties from the "unauthorized" edition will go to the International Rescue Committee; Dutton with their contracted edition is adhering to copyright conventions. The Praeger edition has two translators and one of them is the translator of Doctor Zhivago Dutton's translator, Ralph Parker, has been stigmatized by Praeger as "an apologist for the Soviet regime". To the untutored eye, the Dutton translation seems a little more literary, the Praeger perhaps closer to the rather primitive style of the original. The book itself is an account of one day in the three thousand six hundred and fifty three days of the sentence to be served by a carpenter, Ivan Denisovich Shukhov. (Solzhenitsyn was a political prisoner.) From the unrelenting cold without, to the conditions within, from the bathhouse to the latrine to the cells where survival for more than two weeks is impossible, this records the hopeless facts of existence as faced by thousands who went on "living like this, with your eyes on the ground". The Dutton edition has an excellent introduction providing an orientation on the political background to its appearance in Russia by Marvin Kalb. All involved in its publication (translators, introducers, etc.) claim for it great "artistic" values which we cannot share, although there is no question of its importance as a political and human document and as significant and tangible evidence of the de-Stalinization program.

Pub Date: June 15, 1963

ISBN: 0451228146

Page Count: 181

Publisher: Praeger

Review Posted Online: Oct. 5, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 1963

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