Veteran novelist Carroll (Dog Eat Dog, 1999, etc.) offers a heady brew of military history and conspiracy theory that will appeal to aficionados of both.

The Pulitzer Prize–nominated journalist smartly centers this historical novel, an amalgam of fact and supposition, on a charming rogue. Lowell Brady is a junior naval officer looking for a safe place to ride out the seemingly inevitable World War II. As the son of a wealthy mother and the stepson of an influential senator, he sees it as his natural-born right; years later, he says, “[Y]ou run into men who say they want to be ‘tested’ in battle, but…ignorance explains the greater part of that. Being in a situation where heroes are made is damned poor planning in the first place.” His henpecked stepfather was a confidant of President Franklin Roosevelt, and FDR decides to use young Brady’s natural proclivity as a gossip to gather information at the highest levels of American and British societies. The president wants to find a way to overcome the American public’s aversion to joining the war effort before it’s too late. Brady undergoes a dizzying ascension, during which he meets such historical giants as Winston Churchill and Josef Stalin, but he eventually becomes a man who knows too much—and his minimal conscience ends up getting him in trouble with the powers that be. Later, in 1953, Smithsonian researcher Harriet Gallatin discovers Brady living under a pseudonym in a veteran’s home, where he tells her a shocking tale: Roosevelt, he says, “schemed to bring us into war with Japan, and even knew that their fleet was en route to Pearl Harbor.” As a result, she soon finds herself in danger as well. Carroll believably brings both historical and fictional figures to life while slowly and skillfully unreeling Brady’s story, which shifts back and forth between World War II and the early 1950s. The fast-paced story successfully juxtaposes Brady’s own first-person remembrances and Gallatin’s initially skeptical analysis of the man (“Brady said that most of the recent history I knew was bunk”). Overall, the author’s journalistic style develops a detailed portrait of an unlucky man caught up in events far beyond his control.

A riveting adventure that effectively explores the idea that history is written by the winners.

Pub Date: Feb. 1, 2014

ISBN: 978-0989826907

Page Count: 360

Publisher: CreateSpace

Review Posted Online: Sept. 15, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15, 2014

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

A romantic, sad, and ultimately hopeful book that’s perfect for fans of Jojo Moyes.


In Walsh’s American debut, a woman desperately tries to find out why the man she spent a whirlwind week with never called.

Sarah has just separated from her American husband and is visiting her hometown in England when she meets Eddie. He’s kind and charming, and although they only spend one week together, she falls in love. When he has to leave for a trip, she knows they’ll keep in touch—they’re already making plans for the rest of their lives. But then Eddie never calls, and Sarah’s increasingly frantic efforts to contact him are fruitless. Is he hurt? Is he dead? As her friends tell her, there’s a far greater likelihood that he’s just blowing her off—she’s been ghosted. After trying to track Eddie down at a football game, Sarah starts to become ashamed of herself—after all, she’s almost 40 years old and she’s essentially stalking a man who never called her. But as Sarah slowly learns, she and Eddie didn’t actually meet randomly—they both have a connection to an accident that happened years ago, and it may have something to do with why he disappeared. The tension quickly amps up as the secrets of Eddie’s and Sarah’s pasts are revealed, and the truth behind their connection is genuinely surprising and heartbreaking. The barriers between Sarah and Eddie seem insurmountable at times, and although their issues are resolved in a tidy manner, the emotions behind their actions are always believable. Walsh has created a deeply moving romance with an intriguing mystery and a touching portrait of grief at its heart.

A romantic, sad, and ultimately hopeful book that’s perfect for fans of Jojo Moyes.

Pub Date: July 24, 2018

ISBN: 978-0-525-52277-5

Page Count: 352

Publisher: Pamela Dorman/Viking

Review Posted Online: May 1, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15, 2018

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

An ambitious and bewitching gem of a book with mystery and passion inscribed on every page.

Our Verdict

  • Our Verdict
  • GET IT

  • New York Times Bestseller

  • IndieBound Bestseller


A withdrawn graduate student embarks on an epic quest to restore balance to the world in this long-anticipated follow-up to The Night Circus (2011).

Zachary Ezra Rawlins is a typical millennial introvert; he likes video games, escapist reading, and drinking sidecars. But when he recognizes himself in the pages of a mysterious book from the university library, he's unnerved—and determined to uncover the truth. What begins as a journey for answers turns into something much bigger, and Zachary must decide whether to trust the handsome stranger he meets at a highflying literary fundraiser in New York or to retreat back to his thesis and forget the whole affair. In a high-wire feat of metatextual derring-do, Morgenstern weaves Zachary's adventure into a stunning array of linked fables, myths, and origin stories. There are pirates and weary travelers, painters who can see the future, lovers torn asunder, a menacing Owl King, and safe harbors for all the stories of the world, far below the Earth on the golden shores of a Starless Sea. Clocking in at more than 500 pages, the novel requires patience as Morgenstern puts all the pieces in place, but it is exquisitely pleasurable to watch the gears of this epic fantasy turn once they're set in motion. As in The Night Circus, Morgenstern is at her best when she imagines worlds and rooms and parties in vivid detail, right down to the ballroom stairs "festooned with lanterns and garlands of paper dipped in gold" or a cloak carved from ice with "ships and sailors and sea monsters...lost in the drifting snow." This novel is a love letter to readers as much as an invitation: Come and see how much magic is left in the world. Fans of Neil Gaiman and V.E. Schwab, Kelly Link and Susanna Clarke will want to heed the call.

An ambitious and bewitching gem of a book with mystery and passion inscribed on every page.

Pub Date: Nov. 5, 2019

ISBN: 978-0-385-54121-3

Page Count: 512

Publisher: Doubleday

Review Posted Online: Aug. 4, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2019

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet