An energetic novel featuring an antagonistic public figure.

READ REVIEW

THE SWITCH

Reichwein’s (A Different Kind of Fire & Fury, 2018) fictional thriller features real-life conspiracy theorist Laura Loomer as a character who teams up with an FBI agent.

FBI Agent Maria Quintana-Deon is on the scene after a devastating explosion at Cellular Telecom &Telephone Communications in Santa Fe, New Mexico. “Comrade Angela,” the military commander of the Peruvian terrorist group Shining Path, takes credit for the bombing on the group’s behalf in an email to Laura, adding that they have also abducted CT&T CEO Tom Yust. For Yust’s safe return, the group demands $100 million and the head of the Los Lobos drug cartel. For good measure, Shining Path’s operatives free their incarcerated member Sandra Ochoa Ramos from her prison transport. After tracking the group to Peru, Maria gets help from Laura, Drug Enforcement Administration agent Don Lopez, and Maria’s trained German shepherd, Lucky. Maria soon learns of her surprising link to Sandra, which also connects to Maria’s estranged father, DEA agent Juan Quintana. Unfortunately, Comrade Angela, Sandra, and others are well aware that Maria is chasing them. It turns out that Shining Path has a U.S. agent on its side, and they may target someone Maria loves, such as her mother, Jeannie, in Santa Fe. Although Reichwein’s tale appears intended to launch a Laura-centric series, Laura shares lead duties with Maria here. The book’s cast includes some memorable players, such as the ferocious Sandra, who totes a pink AK-47. The story keeps up a rapid pace with succinct chapters told from the first-person perspectives of myriad characters, although these sometimes confusingly drift into third-person. There’s also occasional far-right social commentary, as when Laura fights her ban from social-networking service Jitter; this mirrors the real-life Loomer’s permanent Twitter ban, which occurred in 2018 after she directed a series of anti-Islamic tweets at U.S. Rep. Ilhan Omar. (In the book, Jitter is said to be “partially owned by members of the Muslim Brotherhood.”) According to Reichwein’s website, “part of the proceeds of the novel will be donated to [Loomer’s] journalistic work.”

An energetic novel featuring an antagonistic public figure.

Pub Date: Oct. 26, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-5136-5425-6

Page Count: 257

Publisher: Self

Review Posted Online: Jan. 27, 2020

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

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

Did you like this book?

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

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet
more