An astutely crafted, action-packed read.

A Blind Eye

BOOK 1 IN THE ADAM KAMINSKI MYSTERY SERIES

From the The Adam Kaminski Mystery Series series

A murder mystery revolving around government corruption in Poland.

Łukasz Kaminski wakes to find himself battered from an assault in downtown Warsaw. His memory diminished, he can’t recall the details of the attack but knows his daughter, Basia, is dead. Her death is ruled a suicide, but Łukasz is deeply skeptical because she was an exuberant girl who embraced life. A veteran reporter, he suspects her death might be a murder, potentially caused by his sensitive investigation into political corruption, beginning with a prominent minister for whom Basia had just begun working. Also, his newspaper editor tried to steer him off the trail with the promise of an unexpected promotion. Meanwhile, Adam Kaminski, a Philadelphia police officer, travels to Poland as part of a special delegation solidifying national ties between the U.S. and Poland. Adam, only picked because the first choice suddenly backed out, confesses he has no special knowledge of the country his grandfather was born in. He reads of Basia’s death in a newspaper and is both intrigued by the story and skeptical about the conclusions investigators draw about its cause. He feels compelled, maybe as a matter of professional instinct, to make inquiries of his own, and he quickly discovers that Łukasz shares his last name because they are related. Together, they delve into an increasingly dark web of crime, challenged by dangerous resistance. This isn’t merely a murder mystery, but reflections on the proper relation to the past and the challenges of understanding and reconciling oneself with it. One governmental minister explicitly warns against unsettling the dust of yesteryear. “You shouldn’t do that, Pan Kaminski….Don’t go looking into the past. You do not know how strongly people feel about the past or about the changes that are coming.” The story unfolds vigorously, keeping the reader pinned to the plot. There’s a romantic element as well: from the very beginning, Adam is pulled between two potential love interests. First-time author Gorman’s prose falls short of perfection, but the artful suspense makes for a worthwhile ride.

An astutely crafted, action-packed read.

Pub Date: Sept. 17, 2015

ISBN: N/A

Page Count: 279

Publisher: Blue Eagle Press

Review Posted Online: Aug. 6, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2015

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A tasty, if not always tasteful, tale of supernatural mayhem that fans of King and Crichton alike will enjoy.

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DEVOLUTION

Are we not men? We are—well, ask Bigfoot, as Brooks does in this delightful yarn, following on his bestseller World War Z (2006).

A zombie apocalypse is one thing. A volcanic eruption is quite another, for, as the journalist who does a framing voice-over narration for Brooks’ latest puts it, when Mount Rainier popped its cork, “it was the psychological aspect, the hyperbole-fueled hysteria that had ended up killing the most people.” Maybe, but the sasquatches whom the volcano displaced contributed to the statistics, too, if only out of self-defense. Brooks places the epicenter of the Bigfoot war in a high-tech hideaway populated by the kind of people you might find in a Jurassic Park franchise: the schmo who doesn’t know how to do much of anything but tries anyway, the well-intentioned bleeding heart, the know-it-all intellectual who turns out to know the wrong things, the immigrant with a tough backstory and an instinct for survival. Indeed, the novel does double duty as a survival manual, packed full of good advice—for instance, try not to get wounded, for “injury turns you from a giver to a taker. Taking up our resources, our time to care for you.” Brooks presents a case for making room for Bigfoot in the world while peppering his narrative with timely social criticism about bad behavior on the human side of the conflict: The explosion of Rainier might have been better forecast had the president not slashed the budget of the U.S. Geological Survey, leading to “immediate suspension of the National Volcano Early Warning System,” and there’s always someone around looking to monetize the natural disaster and the sasquatch-y onslaught that follows. Brooks is a pro at building suspense even if it plays out in some rather spectacularly yucky episodes, one involving a short spear that takes its name from “the sucking sound of pulling it out of the dead man’s heart and lungs.” Grossness aside, it puts you right there on the scene.

A tasty, if not always tasteful, tale of supernatural mayhem that fans of King and Crichton alike will enjoy.

Pub Date: June 16, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-9848-2678-7

Page Count: 304

Publisher: Del Rey/Ballantine

Review Posted Online: Feb. 10, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2020

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Finding positivity in negative pregnancy-test results, this depiction of a marriage in crisis is nearly perfect.

ALL YOUR PERFECTS

Named for an imperfectly worded fortune cookie, Hoover's (It Ends with Us, 2016, etc.) latest compares a woman’s relationship with her husband before and after she finds out she’s infertile.

Quinn meets her future husband, Graham, in front of her soon-to-be-ex-fiance’s apartment, where Graham is about to confront him for having an affair with his girlfriend. A few years later, they are happily married but struggling to conceive. The “then and now” format—with alternating chapters moving back and forth in time—allows a hopeful romance to blossom within a dark but relatable dilemma. Back then, Quinn’s bad breakup leads her to the love of her life. In the now, she’s exhausted a laundry list of fertility options, from IVF treatments to adoption, and the silver lining is harder to find. Quinn’s bad relationship with her wealthy mother also prevents her from asking for more money to throw at the problem. But just when Quinn’s narrative starts to sound like she’s writing a long Facebook rant about her struggles, she reveals the larger issue: Ever since she and Graham have been trying to have a baby, intimacy has become a chore, and she doesn’t know how to tell him. Instead, she hopes the contents of a mystery box she’s kept since their wedding day will help her decide their fate. With a few well-timed silences, Hoover turns the fairly common problem of infertility into the more universal problem of poor communication. Graham and Quinn may or may not become parents, but if they don’t talk about their feelings, they won’t remain a couple, either.

Finding positivity in negative pregnancy-test results, this depiction of a marriage in crisis is nearly perfect.

Pub Date: July 17, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-5011-7159-8

Page Count: 320

Publisher: Atria

Review Posted Online: May 1, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15, 2018

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