An often pleasing combination of romance and suspense.


A principled young journalist in the early 1990s tackles the case of her career in Lew’s debut novel.

Newspaper reporter Ariella Richardson meets the handsome, formidable Dr. Sam Becker when she interviews him about his breakthrough research on cervical cancer. Becker has a severe dislike of the media, but Ariella’s honesty, intelligence, and beauty breaks through his reserve. Ariella wants to specialize in women’s health stories and she covets the role of lead reporter on the health beat for the Boston Times. Thanks to her connection with Sam, she finds herself on the trail of two big stories involving the tobacco industry’s funding of cancer research and the horrifying murder of a pregnant woman. An interview with one of Sam’s test subjects leads Ariella to the realization that the murder suspect currently in police custody is likely innocent of the crime—and another doctor involved in Sam’s research may hold the key to finding the real killer. Sam struggles with Ariella’s willingness to place herself in harm’s way, and Ariella must decide whether she’s willing to sacrifice her personal life for her career. Lew’s novel offers a snapshot of several diverse Boston neighborhoods of the 1990s, but she also touches on social issues that are still in the news today, including women’s health, racial bias in law enforcement, and potentially explosive socioeconomic and racial tensions in society. She also highlights how some issues were still debatable in that era, such as whether the human papilloma virus has a connection to cervical cancer. Lew manages to tie several different narrative threads together while keeping the focus on Ariella and her relationship with Sam. Ariella is a spunky character who retains her independence despite Sam’s tendency toward control. Her naïveté, his temperament, and the power dynamic in their relationship smack of a Fifty Shades of Grey-like scenario. That said, Lew resists the urge to let Sam run the show, keeping Ariella at the center of the story.

An often pleasing combination of romance and suspense.

Pub Date: May 4, 2016

ISBN: 978-0-9973533-1-0

Page Count: 374

Publisher: Tortoise Shell Books

Review Posted Online: Nov. 26, 2016

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A first novel, this is also a first person account of Scout's (Jean Louise) recall of the years that led to the ending of a mystery, the breaking of her brother Jem's elbow, the death of her father's enemy — and the close of childhood years. A widower, Atticus raises his children with legal dispassion and paternal intelligence, and is ably abetted by Calpurnia, the colored cook, while the Alabama town of Maycomb, in the 1930's, remains aloof to their divergence from its tribal patterns. Scout and Jem, with their summer-time companion, Dill, find their paths free from interference — but not from dangers; their curiosity about the imprisoned Boo, whose miserable past is incorporated in their play, results in a tentative friendliness; their fears of Atticus' lack of distinction is dissipated when he shoots a mad dog; his defense of a Negro accused of raping a white girl, Mayella Ewell, is followed with avid interest and turns the rabble whites against him. Scout is the means of averting an attack on Atticus but when he loses the case it is Boo who saves Jem and Scout by killing Mayella's father when he attempts to murder them. The shadows of a beginning for black-white understanding, the persistent fight that Scout carries on against school, Jem's emergence into adulthood, Calpurnia's quiet power, and all the incidents touching on the children's "growing outward" have an attractive starchiness that keeps this southern picture pert and provocative. There is much advance interest in this book; it has been selected by the Literary Guild and Reader's Digest; it should win many friends.

Pub Date: July 11, 1960

ISBN: 0060935464

Page Count: 323

Publisher: Lippincott

Review Posted Online: Oct. 7, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 1960

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While a few weeks ago it seemed as if Praeger would have a two month lead over Dutton in their presentation of this Soviet best seller, both the "authorized" edition (Dutton's) and the "unauthorized" (Praeger's) will appear almost simultaneously. There has been considerable advance attention on what appears to be as much of a publishing cause celebre here as the original appearance of the book in Russia. Without entering into the scrimmage, or dismissing it as a plague on both your houses, we will limit ourselves to a few facts. Royalties from the "unauthorized" edition will go to the International Rescue Committee; Dutton with their contracted edition is adhering to copyright conventions. The Praeger edition has two translators and one of them is the translator of Doctor Zhivago Dutton's translator, Ralph Parker, has been stigmatized by Praeger as "an apologist for the Soviet regime". To the untutored eye, the Dutton translation seems a little more literary, the Praeger perhaps closer to the rather primitive style of the original. The book itself is an account of one day in the three thousand six hundred and fifty three days of the sentence to be served by a carpenter, Ivan Denisovich Shukhov. (Solzhenitsyn was a political prisoner.) From the unrelenting cold without, to the conditions within, from the bathhouse to the latrine to the cells where survival for more than two weeks is impossible, this records the hopeless facts of existence as faced by thousands who went on "living like this, with your eyes on the ground". The Dutton edition has an excellent introduction providing an orientation on the political background to its appearance in Russia by Marvin Kalb. All involved in its publication (translators, introducers, etc.) claim for it great "artistic" values which we cannot share, although there is no question of its importance as a political and human document and as significant and tangible evidence of the de-Stalinization program.

Pub Date: June 15, 1963

ISBN: 0451228146

Page Count: 181

Publisher: Praeger

Review Posted Online: Oct. 5, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 1963

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