An interesting, plausible, fast-paced tale.

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In Young’s (Epsilon Zeta, 2006, etc.) latest novel, two college students find themselves caught in a deadly conspiracy.

Alpha 7, a covert branch of the Cuban military designed to mitigate smuggler and drug-trafficking activities in South and Central America, bungles an assassination attempt on a notorious pirate agent. Cuban officials scramble to recover their losses and maintain government secrets. Meanwhile, Pete Stephen and Ryder Westcott, recent graduates of Florida State University, celebrate their achievements by embarking on a deep sea fishing adventure off the coast of Florida. Ryder catches the big one, but, instead of a fish, he reels in a large blue ice chest containing $30,000. The captain of their skiff pulls a gun, a fight ensues, and Pete accidentally kills him. Still in shock, Ryder and Pete then rescue a man floating in the ocean, who, shortly after boarding, takes over their boat. Another fight ensues and more dead bodies litter the small vessel. Not far away, Coast Guard officials investigate two bullet-strewn cruisers replete with dead and unscrupulous crew members. Mack Olen, a seasoned DEA agent, is called on to unravel the ambiguity of execution-style methods and weapons used. When three savagely murdered bodies are found in a deserted fishing boat off the coast of Andros Island in the Bahamas, U.S. and Bahamian police forces join efforts to break a drug ring. They uncover links to international, upper-level government envoys. Pete and Ryder discover information exposing Cuban connections to the assassinations of several U.S. political representatives. They become pawns of international intrigue, with Olen as their only tenuous ally. Surrounded by scoundrels, crooked cops and government bureaucrats with connections all the way up the international food chain, Pete and Ryder fight to prove their innocence and preserve their lives. Some scenes fall flat and the plethora of characters is distracting, but overall the sustained action, divided into short segments, keeps the story moving.

An interesting, plausible, fast-paced tale.

Pub Date: Feb. 1, 2008

ISBN: 978-1-60461-789-4

Page Count: -

Publisher: N/A

Review Posted Online: April 14, 2011

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A strict report, worthy of sympathy.

THE CATCHER IN THE RYE

A violent surfacing of adolescence (which has little in common with Tarkington's earlier, broadly comic, Seventeen) has a compulsive impact.

"Nobody big except me" is the dream world of Holden Caulfield and his first person story is down to the basic, drab English of the pre-collegiate. For Holden is now being bounced from fancy prep, and, after a vicious evening with hall- and roommates, heads for New York to try to keep his latest failure from his parents. He tries to have a wild evening (all he does is pay the check), is terrorized by the hotel elevator man and his on-call whore, has a date with a girl he likes—and hates, sees his 10 year old sister, Phoebe. He also visits a sympathetic English teacher after trying on a drunken session, and when he keeps his date with Phoebe, who turns up with her suitcase to join him on his flight, he heads home to a hospital siege. This is tender and true, and impossible, in its picture of the old hells of young boys, the lonesomeness and tentative attempts to be mature and secure, the awful block between youth and being grown-up, the fright and sickness that humans and their behavior cause the challenging, the dramatization of the big bang. It is a sorry little worm's view of the off-beat of adult pressure, of contemporary strictures and conformity, of sentiment….

A strict report, worthy of sympathy.

Pub Date: June 15, 1951

ISBN: 0316769177

Page Count: -

Publisher: Little, Brown

Review Posted Online: Nov. 2, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 1951

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Cheerfully engaging.

WHAT ALICE FORGOT

From Australian Moriarty (The Last Anniversary, 2006, etc.), domestic escapism about a woman whose temporary amnesia makes her re-examine what really matters to her.

Alice wakes from what she thinks is a dream, assuming she is a recently married 29-year-old expecting her first child. Actually she is 39, the mother of three and in the middle of an acrimonious custody battle with her soon-to-be ex-husband Nick. She’s fallen off her exercise bike, and the resulting bump on her head has not only erased her memory of the last 10 years but has also taken her psychologically back to a younger, more easygoing self at odds with the woman she gathers she has become. While Alice-at-29 is loving and playful if lacking ambition or self-confidence, Alice-at-39 is a highly efficient if too tightly wound supermom. She is also thin and rich since Nick now heads the company where she remembers him struggling in an entry-level position. Alice-at-29 cannot conceive that she and Nick would no longer be rapturously in love or that she and her adored older sister Elisabeth could be estranged, and she is shocked that her shy mother has married Nick’s bumptious father and taken up salsa dancing. She neither remembers nor recognizes her three children, each given a distinct if slightly too cute personality. Nor does she know what to make of the perfectly nice boyfriend Alice-at-39 has acquired. As memory gradually returns, Alice-at-29 initially misinterprets the scattered images and flashes of emotion, especially those concerning Gina, a woman who evidently caused the rift with Nick. Alice-at-29 assumes Gina was Nick’s mistress, only to discover that Gina was her best friend. Gina died in a freak car accident and in her honor, Alice-at-39 has organized mothers from the kids’ school to bake the largest lemon meringue pie on record. But Alice-at-29 senses that Gina may not have been a completely positive influence. Moriarty handles the two Alice consciousnesses with finesse and also delves into infertility issues through Elizabeth’s diary.

Cheerfully engaging.

Pub Date: June 2, 2011

ISBN: 978-0-399-15718-9

Page Count: 432

Publisher: Amy Einhorn/Putnam

Review Posted Online: April 4, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2011

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