Ollie North tracking a serial killer? Not quite—but this much-hyped, portentously pseudonymous first novel reads like a vigilante wet dream crossed with a campaign bio for the would-be senator. Before he was convicted of lying to Congress about his role in the BCCI scandal, CIA stalwart Mike Culley ran KGB operative Nikolai Lubanov as an agent-in-place in Moscow. Now Lubanov has defected to the U.S., checked out of his new identity as John Malik, and hijacked a truckload of blank currency paper, obviously preparing for a major foray into counterfeiting. Culley's old CIA mates, determined to keep the scandal of a paid defector turning criminal all in the family, spring Culley from prison and set him quietly on Malik's trail. They don't tell him that the real reason they're looking for Malik (and trying to keep the hunt secret from the FBI) is that, as a break from counterfeiting, he's reverted to his first love: torturing and killing young women. When Culley finds out that the man he's hunting through Virginia and on to New Jersey and Brighton Beach is a brutal murderer, he decides he doesn't owe his old buddies a thing. Teaming up with Julie Houser, an ex-cop Washington Post reporter whose sidearms are almost as big as his, Culley resolves to take Malik on his own terms, stopping off in New York only long enough to see his touchingly supportive daughter Jenny (``You have nothing to be ashamed of. What you did had nothing to do with right and wrong.''), who just happens to be the sort of attractive young woman Malik's been seeing a lot of lately. Rabble-rousing speeches aside—the quotable bits just go on and on—a routine romp through familiar territory. Fascinatingly banal, like watching Liz Taylor guest-star on General Hospital. (First printing of 100,000; Literary Guild/Mystery Guild selections; $100,000 ad/promo)

Pub Date: Sept. 6, 1994

ISBN: 0-385-31329-2

Page Count: 352

Publisher: Delacorte

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 1994

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet


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

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet


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

Did you like this book?