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

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  • New York Times Bestseller

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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