A well-documented and often suspenseful dramatization of American military engagement.

THE NUKES OF OCTOBER

SECRET SORTIES OF AN AIR FORCE PHANTOM PILOT

A historical military thriller that follows the eventful career of an American fighter pilot during dangerous geopolitical times.

Pete O’Neil has always wanted to fly fighter planes. His father tries to recruit him to work in the family’s lumber business, but instead Pete goes to college on a swimming scholarship. From there, he enlists in the Air Force, as do his two closest friends, Sam and George. They all become pilots, and Pete, while serving as a flight instructor, is offered a special assignment to fly U-2 spy planes in 1957; he turns it down and instead flies top-secret reconnaissance missions over Cuba. (Later, he even speaks on the phone with President John F. Kennedy himself.) Eventually, he’s tasked with flying an F-4 in Vietnam, where he finally gets a taste of combat; he’s shot down during a mission with Col. Al Hawthorne, but the two manage to evade capture. Pete’s friend George, though, goes missing for months after his own plane is shot down. Pete’s wife, Trixie, a military contractor and photographer (whom he married in 1965), shows him aerial photographs that indicate that George may be alive somewhere in northwestern Vietnam. Pete is committed to finding Sam, although he struggles to find someone to officially authorize the search. Meanwhile, he’s tasked by President Lyndon Johnson to fly a very special mission over Hanoi. Bauer (Wakulla Bones, 2013, etc.) packs this historical novel with plenty of vividly described action, and his extraordinary knowledge of military aviation is constantly on display. Pete’s adventures follow the tumultuous arc of the second half of the 20th century, and after his adventures in Southeast Asia, he’s sent to work with the Royal Air Force in England, and he also gets to speak personally with Henry Kissinger and Richard Nixon. It’s implausible that a fighter pilot would have direct contact with any president, let alone a string of them; as a result, these scenes seem campy, rather than dramatic. Also, as excitingly rendered as the combat scenes are, the storyline between them is slow and sometimes wandering. Bauer’s unpredictable plot twists will keep readers engaged, though, as he paints an inspiring portrait of martial valor.

A well-documented and often suspenseful dramatization of American military engagement.

Pub Date: N/A

ISBN: N/A

Page Count: -

Publisher: Dog Ear Publisher

Review Posted Online: Feb. 13, 2017

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Packed with riveting drama and painful truths, this book powerfully illustrates the devastation of abuse—and the strength of...

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IT ENDS WITH US

Hoover’s (November 9, 2015, etc.) latest tackles the difficult subject of domestic violence with romantic tenderness and emotional heft.

At first glance, the couple is edgy but cute: Lily Bloom runs a flower shop for people who hate flowers; Ryle Kincaid is a surgeon who says he never wants to get married or have kids. They meet on a rooftop in Boston on the night Ryle loses a patient and Lily attends her abusive father’s funeral. The provocative opening takes a dark turn when Lily receives a warning about Ryle’s intentions from his sister, who becomes Lily’s employee and close friend. Lily swears she’ll never end up in another abusive home, but when Ryle starts to show all the same warning signs that her mother ignored, Lily learns just how hard it is to say goodbye. When Ryle is not in the throes of a jealous rage, his redeeming qualities return, and Lily can justify his behavior: “I think we needed what happened on the stairwell to happen so that I would know his past and we’d be able to work on it together,” she tells herself. Lily marries Ryle hoping the good will outweigh the bad, and the mother-daughter dynamics evolve beautifully as Lily reflects on her childhood with fresh eyes. Diary entries fancifully addressed to TV host Ellen DeGeneres serve as flashbacks to Lily’s teenage years, when she met her first love, Atlas Corrigan, a homeless boy she found squatting in a neighbor’s house. When Atlas turns up in Boston, now a successful chef, he begs Lily to leave Ryle. Despite the better option right in front of her, an unexpected complication forces Lily to cut ties with Atlas, confront Ryle, and try to end the cycle of abuse before it’s too late. The relationships are portrayed with compassion and honesty, and the author’s note at the end that explains Hoover’s personal connection to the subject matter is a must-read.

Packed with riveting drama and painful truths, this book powerfully illustrates the devastation of abuse—and the strength of the survivors.

Pub Date: Aug. 2, 2016

ISBN: 978-1-5011-1036-8

Page Count: 320

Publisher: Atria

Review Posted Online: May 31, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2016

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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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