A swiftly paced thriller with impeccable heroes.

THE DATE FARM

In this fourth installment of a series, Mossad agents face off against Islamic terrorists initiating attacks in the United States.

A group of armed men opens fire at a crowd in a Beverly Hills shopping mall. After the assailants commit suicide with shouts of “Allahu Akhbar,” the FBI calls Uri Levin and Lara Edmond. The married couple are Mossad agents, though Lara is still officially a fed as well. They cut short their vacation at Lara’s family farm in Ohio and head to Los Angeles, but the evidence they gather there unfortunately sparks no leads. Weeks later, there’s a different style of attack in New York. Unknown men have incited a traffic jam and subsequently taken over two buildings, the Federal Reserve and Chase Manhattan Bank. At the same time, someone has evidently disabled communications networks and satellite transmissions. Suspecting the attackers, like in the California shooting, are Middle Eastern, the feds once again bring in Uri and Lara. Readers are aware that Sheikh Zainal Abidin is heading the strike against America. U.S. agents believe the enemy’s objective is gold, rumored to be at the Federal Reserve but actually at Chase Manhattan Bank. But Abidin has other agendas in the works. He wants revenge against Uri and Lara, who previously foiled a plan that he was a part of years ago. But his ultimate goal, known only to a few, is stealing a rare material stored in one of the two buildings. In this thriller, Winnick (Devil in False Colors, 2016, etc.) wastes little time in showcasing the villains as well as the bulk of their simple but effective plan. For example, Abidin’s “electronics team” in Kazerun, Iran, is responsible for America’s communications shutdown while the Beverly Hills attack was really a setup for the more substantial one in Manhattan. This certainly boosts suspense, as Abidin has his eyes set on the Mossad heroes well before they identify him as a culprit. But too many characters (and narrative details) reiterate already clarified elements of the baddies’ scheme, including someone hacking communications and gold as a potential target. Luckily, this hardly slows down the story, which moves at a steady clip. The latter half entails a journey from North to South America and, later, Iran, where Uri and Lara go undercover in enemy territory. The author aptly balances the recurring protagonists’ romantic and professional lives. There’s no question the two are in love, but in the field, they’re both tenacious agents even if they aren’t working side by side. The bad guys are painted in broader colors, but they’re still an engrossing bunch, and their propensity for martyrdom makes them frightening. In keeping with the action, Winnick’s descriptions are thorough while continually propelling the narrative: “The dead and wounded had been tended to, a task that took over an hour, before any of the Federal officers realized the contents of the wooden crates had not been identified.” Winnick also adds surprises, from the (eventual) reveal of the unknown material to one character’s betrayal.

A swiftly paced thriller with impeccable heroes.

Pub Date: Dec. 24, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-79093-946-6

Page Count: 234

Publisher: Time Tunnel Media

Review Posted Online: April 29, 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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