Next book

THE HUNTER

Not exactly a tale of redemption, and in fact the pervasive bleakness and chilling details of the hunt flatten the...

Australian Leigh’s capable, disquieting debut is an homage of sorts to Moby Dick as an accomplished killer coolly stalks his prey—a Tasmanian tiger that’s the last of its breed—but is rattled when long-dormant emotions are stirred by a fractured family he encounters.

Arriving incognito at the edge of the Tasmanian bush to begin his hunt, the cold fish known as “M” immediately encounters a distraction from his mission. Two unrestrained children, a girl and her younger brother, are the welcoming committee in the house where he’s to stay between forays into the wilderness, their mother in a drugged stupor from mourning her scientist husband, who vanished months before in the same area where M will go. At first M has no time for the kids and tackles his assignment—to find and kill the tiger in order to retrieve genetic material and body parts for a biotech outfit—with the icy calm of a perfectionist, trapping and shooting and skinning creatures as it suits him. As time passes, however, his target remains elusive, and visits to base camp expose him further to each member of the family, with the result that he becomes more involved in their lives and aware of their needs. Called away on another mission without having bagged his cat, M returns after some weeks to finish the job, actually anticipating his reunion with the family. But he finds only an empty house and a trail of tragedy. Hopes of human intimacy, flawed though it might have been, now dashed, he resumes his cold-blooded ways in competition with park rangers who are also in search of the tiger, until the moment he has so long awaited arrives.

Not exactly a tale of redemption, and in fact the pervasive bleakness and chilling details of the hunt flatten the dimensions of the story somewhat, but within its obsessive vision there is power, raw and formidable. A writer to watch.

Pub Date: Oct. 1, 2000

ISBN: 1-56858-169-6

Page Count: 176

Publisher: N/A

Review Posted Online: June 24, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2000

Categories:
Next book

MAGIC HOUR

Wacky plot keeps the pages turning and enduring schmaltzy romantic sequences.

Sisters work together to solve a child-abandonment case.

Ellie and Julia Cates have never been close. Julia is shy and brainy; Ellie gets by on charm and looks. Their differences must be tossed aside when a traumatized young girl wanders in from the forest into their hometown in Washington. The sisters’ professional skills are put to the test. Julia is a world-renowned child psychologist who has lost her edge. She is reeling from a case that went publicly sour. Though she was cleared of all wrongdoing, Julia’s name was tarnished, forcing her to shutter her Beverly Hills practice. Ellie Barton is the local police chief in Rain Valley, who’s never faced a tougher case. This is her chance to prove she is more than just a fading homecoming queen, but a scarcity of clues and a reluctant victim make locating the girl’s parents nearly impossible. Ellie places an SOS call to her sister; she needs an expert to rehabilitate this wild-child who has been living outside of civilization for years. Confronted with her professional demons, Julia once again has the opportunity to display her talents and salvage her reputation. Hannah (The Things We Do for Love, 2004, etc.) is at her best when writing from the girl’s perspective. The feral wolf-child keeps the reader interested long after the other, transparent characters have grown tiresome. Hannah’s torturously over-written romance passages are stale, but there are surprises in store as the sisters set about unearthing Alice’s past and creating a home for her.

Wacky plot keeps the pages turning and enduring schmaltzy romantic sequences.

Pub Date: March 1, 2006

ISBN: 0-345-46752-3

Page Count: 400

Publisher: Ballantine

Review Posted Online: June 24, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2005

Categories:
Next book

THE CATCHER IN THE RYE

A strict report, worthy of sympathy.

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

Categories:
Close Quickview