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THE NUKES OF OCTOBER

SECRET SORTIES OF AN AIR FORCE PHANTOM PILOT

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

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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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  • New York Times Bestseller

DEVOLUTION

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

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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. 9, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2020

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  • New York Times Bestseller


  • IndieBound Bestseller

IT ENDS WITH US

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

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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 30, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2016

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