A sprightly plotted thriller and dynamic characters should leave readers eager for the sequel.


From the Hunters & Seekers series , Vol. 1

A university professor hunts for her marine biologist mother’s enigmatic research, which dangerous individuals also want, in this series opener.

Professor Riley Rawlings’ late-night voicemail from her mother, Claudia, is obscure: “Don’t let them get my research.” Riley soon learns that the research vessel, on which Claudia was lead scientist, has sunk. The Coast Guard finds 16 passengers dead, but as Claudia is not among them, Riley initially believes her mother is still alive. Riley quickly offers her help to Hunters & Seekers, the salvage and investigation company the San Diego Police Department has contracted for assistance. Not only is she an experienced diver, but she’ll also be able to decipher any possible evidence her mother has left behind regarding her location or research. Riley doesn’t know any specifics about the research, but she’s able to follow a string of clues from Claudia, much like a scavenger hunt. Riley, along with Hunters & Seekers’ Dagger Eastin, Kaleb LaSalle, and Stone Garrison, all former SEALs, searches with caution, as it’s apparent that the sunken ship was no accident. Indeed, someone wants Claudia’s work, and a mysterious man is shadowing the group, hoping Riley will lead him to the research and seemingly waiting for his chance to strike. Jaytanie’s (Love, Take Two Collection, 2017, etc.) concise writing begets a swift narrative with no extraneous characters. For example, a woman from Dagger’s past is a dual threat—to Riley’s life as well as her blossoming relationship with the ex-SEAL. Riley, whom Dagger rightly dubs “fearless,” holds her own with her male comrades, and it’s gratifying to watch her decode Claudia’s cryptic clues. Unfortunately, the entertaining scavenger hunt ends a bit too soon, prior to the novel’s halfway point. But other mysteries ensue, including Claudia’s whereabouts, Dagger’s connection to the woman from his past, and the identity of the villainous mastermind. Although gradual details of the baddies’ plot become increasingly convoluted, the ultimate reveal is comprehensible and the story’s resolution is thorough.

A sprightly plotted thriller and dynamic characters should leave readers eager for the sequel.

Pub Date: Jan. 31, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-948170-04-8

Page Count: 276

Publisher: Time Tunnel Media

Review Posted Online: April 26, 2019

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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. 21, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2015

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Dated sermonizing on career versus motherhood, and conflict driven by characters’ willed helplessness, sap this tale of...


Lifelong, conflicted friendship of two women is the premise of Hannah’s maudlin latest (Magic Hour, 2006, etc.), again set in Washington State.

Tallulah “Tully” Hart, father unknown, is the daughter of a hippie, Cloud, who makes only intermittent appearances in her life. Tully takes refuge with the family of her “best friend forever,” Kate Mularkey, who compares herself unfavorably with Tully, in regards to looks and charisma. In college, “TullyandKate” pledge the same sorority and major in communications. Tully has a life goal for them both: They will become network TV anchorwomen. Tully lands an internship at KCPO-TV in Seattle and finagles a producing job for Kate. Kate no longer wishes to follow Tully into broadcasting and is more drawn to fiction writing, but she hesitates to tell her overbearing friend. Meanwhile a love triangle blooms at KCPO: Hard-bitten, irresistibly handsome, former war correspondent Johnny is clearly smitten with Tully. Expecting rejection, Kate keeps her infatuation with Johnny secret. When Tully lands a reporting job with a Today-like show, her career shifts into hyperdrive. Johnny and Kate had started an affair once Tully moved to Manhattan, and when Kate gets pregnant with daughter Marah, they marry. Kate is content as a stay-at-home mom, but frets about being Johnny’s second choice and about her unrealized writing ambitions. Tully becomes Seattle’s answer to Oprah. She hires Johnny, which spells riches for him and Kate. But Kate’s buttons are fully depressed by pitched battles over slutwear and curfews with teenaged Marah, who idolizes her godmother Tully. In an improbable twist, Tully invites Kate and Marah to resolve their differences on her show, only to blindside Kate by accusing her, on live TV, of overprotecting Marah. The BFFs are sundered. Tully’s latest attempt to salvage Cloud fails: The incorrigible, now geriatric hippie absconds once more. Just as Kate develops a spine, she’s given some devastating news. Will the friends reconcile before it’s too late?

Dated sermonizing on career versus motherhood, and conflict driven by characters’ willed helplessness, sap this tale of poignancy.

Pub Date: Feb. 1, 2008

ISBN: 978-0-312-36408-3

Page Count: 496

Publisher: St. Martin's

Review Posted Online: May 19, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 1, 2007

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