An engrossing tale with nuanced themes and a genuinely complex heroine.


Hughes delivers a complex case of weighty history, violent trauma, and untold mystery in this debut paranormal thriller.

The supernatural has long been a part of Rosetta Barrett’s life, but that doesn’t make the burden easier to bear. It’s 2021, and she’s a psychic detective who’s found gainful employment and validation with the Elite Paranormal Intelligence Service, but she’s lost plenty to the demands of the job. The secrecy required led to the collapse of her marriage and the loss of custody of her kids, Alice and Edward. That would be more than enough to deal with, but recently, she’s also been having psychic visions that have been keeping her from a good night’s sleep. Although what she sees—a car accident involving a horse—wouldn’t normally be serious enough for Rosetta to commit any real resources to an investigation, she nonetheless pieces together the deadly truth of the visions. Soon, she’s racing to stop a predicted tragedy from occurring. She’s too late to save the victims, but as she investigates and talks to the horse’s owner and event rider, Juliet Jermaine, it becomes clear that the tragedy was no accident. After Rosetta and her team dig deeper, they discover a cycle of violence and revenge that poses a major threat. The novel’s short chapters and tight pacing are its greatest assets, keeping the pages turning and allowing for rapid shifts between characters’ points of view without becoming confusing. The prose never neglects description but tackles it efficiently, couching it in the characters’ natural voices. The very beginning of the novel is somewhat disorienting, as its briskness makes it somewhat difficult to take in the paranormal aspect of this near-future world. Nevertheless, the prose grounds the action quickly, and Rosetta, as a character, connects with readers powerfully and immediately; her anger and sense of duty ring true from the outset. Her struggles with career and family further elevate this exciting, unusual story.

An engrossing tale with nuanced themes and a genuinely complex heroine.

Pub Date: June 11, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-9995867-9-9

Page Count: 360

Publisher: Money-Magnet Global

Review Posted Online: Sept. 14, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2018

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The phrase “tour de force” could have been invented for this audacious novel.

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Four men who meet as college roommates move to New York and spend the next three decades gaining renown in their professions—as an architect, painter, actor and lawyer—and struggling with demons in their intertwined personal lives.

Yanagihara (The People in the Trees, 2013) takes the still-bold leap of writing about characters who don’t share her background; in addition to being male, JB is African-American, Malcolm has a black father and white mother, Willem is white, and “Jude’s race was undetermined”—deserted at birth, he was raised in a monastery and had an unspeakably traumatic childhood that’s revealed slowly over the course of the book. Two of them are gay, one straight and one bisexual. There isn’t a single significant female character, and for a long novel, there isn’t much plot. There aren’t even many markers of what’s happening in the outside world; Jude moves to a loft in SoHo as a young man, but we don’t see the neighborhood change from gritty artists’ enclave to glitzy tourist destination. What we get instead is an intensely interior look at the friends’ psyches and relationships, and it’s utterly enthralling. The four men think about work and creativity and success and failure; they cook for each other, compete with each other and jostle for each other’s affection. JB bases his entire artistic career on painting portraits of his friends, while Malcolm takes care of them by designing their apartments and houses. When Jude, as an adult, is adopted by his favorite Harvard law professor, his friends join him for Thanksgiving in Cambridge every year. And when Willem becomes a movie star, they all bask in his glow. Eventually, the tone darkens and the story narrows to focus on Jude as the pain of his past cuts deep into his carefully constructed life.  

The phrase “tour de force” could have been invented for this audacious novel.

Pub Date: March 10, 2015

ISBN: 978-0-385-53925-8

Page Count: 720

Publisher: Doubleday

Review Posted Online: Dec. 22, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2015

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More about grief and tragedy than romance.


Five friends meet on their first day of kindergarten at the exclusive Atwood School and remain lifelong friends through tragedy and triumph.

When Gabby, Billy, Izzie, Andy and Sean meet in the toy kitchen of the kindergarten classroom on their first day of school, no one can know how strong the group’s friendship will remain. Despite their different personalities and interests, the five grow up together and become even closer as they come into their own talents and life paths. But tragedy will strike and strike again. Family troubles, abusive parents, drugs, alcohol, stress, grief and even random bad luck will put pressure on each of them individually and as a group. Known for her emotional romances, Steel makes a bit of a departure with this effort that follows a group of friends through young adulthood. But even as one tragedy after another befalls the friends, the impact of the events is blunted by a distant narrative style that lacks emotional intensity. 

More about grief and tragedy than romance.

Pub Date: July 24, 2012

ISBN: 978-0-385-34321-3

Page Count: 322

Publisher: Delacorte

Review Posted Online: Nov. 14, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2012

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