Readers who are not devoted followers of Karon may be impatient with the glacial pace of this installment.


Book two of Karon’s new series about an Episcopal priest, The Father Tim Novels (Home to Holly Springs, 2007), continues as Father Tim’s long-awaited Ireland vacation turns into a busman’s holiday.

Father Tim Kavanagh, 70, and his wife, children’s author Cynthia, 64, have arrived at Broughadoon fishing lodge for a second honeymoon. A repeat visitor to the lodge, Tim re-encounters the proprietors, Anna Conor, her husband Liam and Anna’s daughter Bella, now a truculent teenager. Anna’s aging father William is the resident eminence grise. Until William bought it, Broughadoon was once part of the estate of Evelyn Conor, chatelaine of the adjacent manor house, Catharmore. The once lovely Evelyn, Liam’s formidable mother, is now an elderly alcoholic still furious with William for welshing on his youthful promise of marriage. (Instead, she married wealthy Riley Conor.) As if to prove there’s no vacation from Tim’s vocation, spiritually unsettling stuff happens. An intruder leaps out of a wardrobe, startling Cynthia, who stumbles, respraining her recently healed ankle. A priceless painting disappears from Broughadoon’s parlor. His Catholic hosts seek Tim out as an informal confessor. Anna is worried that William may actually be Liam’s father. Liam frets about the same possibility. William still regrets abandoning Evelyn. Meanwhile over at Catharmore, Evelyn has decided to detox and give her geriatric liver a fighting chance, only to suffer injuries in a fall. Tim accompanies Evelyn to the hospital (the Catholic priest being off on his own holiday) because her older son Paddy has retreated into his own boozy haze. Father Tim sees in Bella the same type of implacability that led him to take on his troubled adopted son Dooley. Can he foster similar paternal determination in Liam? Tim and Cynthia peruse a journal, circa 1861, written by Catharmore’s first owner. The long journal entries do little to advance the present story but are sometimes a welcome diversion from it.

Readers who are not devoted followers of Karon may be impatient with the glacial pace of this installment.

Pub Date: Oct. 19, 2010

ISBN: 978-0-670-02212-0

Page Count: 368

Publisher: Viking

Review Posted Online: July 27, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2010

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These letters from some important executive Down Below, to one of the junior devils here on earth, whose job is to corrupt mortals, are witty and written in a breezy style seldom found in religious literature. The author quotes Luther, who said: "The best way to drive out the devil, if he will not yield to texts of Scripture, is to jeer and flout him, for he cannot bear scorn." This the author does most successfully, for by presenting some of our modern and not-so-modern beliefs as emanating from the devil's headquarters, he succeeds in making his reader feel like an ass for ever having believed in such ideas. This kind of presentation gives the author a tremendous advantage over the reader, however, for the more timid reader may feel a sense of guilt after putting down this book. It is a clever book, and for the clever reader, rather than the too-earnest soul.

Pub Date: Jan. 1, 1942

ISBN: 0060652934

Page Count: 53

Publisher: Macmillan

Review Posted Online: Oct. 17, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 1943

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A satisfyingly streamlined World War II thriller.


During the Nazi occupation of Paris, an architect devises ingenious hiding places for Jews.

In architect Belfoure’s fiction debut, the architectural and historical details are closely rendered, while the characters are mostly sketchy stereotypes. Depraved Gestapo colonel Schlegal and his torturer lackeys and thuggish henchmen see their main goal as tracking down every last Jew in Paris who has not already been deported to a concentration camp. Meanwhile, Lucien, an opportunistic architect whose opportunities have evaporated since 1940, when the Germans marched into Paris, is desperate for a job—so desperate that when industrialist Manet calls upon him to devise a hiding place for a wealthy Jewish friend, he accepts, since Manet can also offer him a commission to design a factory. While performing his factory assignment (the facility will turn out armaments for the Reich), Lucien meets kindred spirit Herzog, a Wehrmacht officer with a keen appreciation of architectural engineering, who views capturing Jews as an ill-advised distraction from winning the war for Germany. The friendship makes Lucien’s collaboration with the German war effort almost palatable—the money isn’t that good. Bigger payouts come as Manet persuades a reluctant Lucien to keep designing hideouts. His inventive cubbyholes—a seamless door in an ornamental column, a staircase section with an undetectable opening, even a kitchen floor drain—all help Jews evade the ever-tightening net of Schlegal and his crew. However, the pressure on Lucien is mounting. A seemingly foolproof fireplace contained a disastrous fatal flaw. His closest associates—apprentice Alain and mistress Adele—prove to have connections to the Gestapo, and, at Manet’s urging, Lucien has adopted a Jewish orphan, Pierre. The Resistance has taken him for short drives to warn him about the postwar consequences of collaboration, and his wife, Celeste, has left in disgust. Belfoure wastes no time prettying up his strictly workmanlike prose. As the tension increases, the most salient virtue of this effort—the expertly structured plot—emerges. 

A satisfyingly streamlined World War II thriller.

Pub Date: Oct. 1, 2013

ISBN: 978-1-4022-8431-1

Page Count: 384

Publisher: Sourcebooks Landmark

Review Posted Online: March 25, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 2013

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