An impressive thriller by an author worth following.

A GAME OF DECEIT

Falling for the wrong man could prove life-threatening for an interior designer in this debut novel.

Davis’ unlikely protagonist is Kathryn Landry, whose life has gotten complicated quickly. Her cold, overbearing husband, Neil, has suddenly vanished. While the couple drifted apart, Neil tightly controlled their finances, including handling the transactions for Kathryn’s design firm. Assigned to Neil’s case is Detective Mike Williams, who failed to find Kathryn’s missing father 25 years earlier. Also offering to help is John Selton, a client of Kathryn’s who also runs a security firm and constantly flirts with her. Despite the search for her husband, Kathryn finds herself romantically drawn to both Mike and John, who can’t stand each other. Then her apartment and office get broken into, with the target a flash drive that only the two men know about, so one isn’t on the up-and-up. In addition, she discovers Neil had made plans to leave the country imminently with all their money and his mistress. Fortunately, Kathryn is supported, emotionally and financially, by her assistant-turned-partner, Marianne Patton, and her husband, Richard, who take in Kathryn. They help her sort out the chaos that surrounds her as she tries to decipher what Neil did that caused his disappearance and put her life in danger. She also meets her dying uncle, who fills in some of the holes in her history. With a novel heavy on dialogue, Davis has created a fast-paced narrative. She effectively uses her native Southern California as a backdrop, especially the ever present wildfires. Kathryn does seem to move on from her absent husband rather quickly, content to waffle between two intriguing new suitors. But considering how badly Neil treated her, that’s certainly understandable. In addition, all the mysteries in the heroine’s life improbably get tied up a little too neatly by the book’s end. Still, Davis deftly keeps readers as up in the air as Kathryn throughout this well-crafted tale.

An impressive thriller by an author worth following.

Pub Date: June 19, 2017

ISBN: 978-0-9990688-1-6

Page Count: 294

Publisher: Cinnamon & Sugar Press

Review Posted Online: June 22, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2017

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TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD

A first novel, this is also a first person account of Scout's (Jean Louise) recall of the years that led to the ending of a mystery, the breaking of her brother Jem's elbow, the death of her father's enemy — and the close of childhood years. A widower, Atticus raises his children with legal dispassion and paternal intelligence, and is ably abetted by Calpurnia, the colored cook, while the Alabama town of Maycomb, in the 1930's, remains aloof to their divergence from its tribal patterns. Scout and Jem, with their summer-time companion, Dill, find their paths free from interference — but not from dangers; their curiosity about the imprisoned Boo, whose miserable past is incorporated in their play, results in a tentative friendliness; their fears of Atticus' lack of distinction is dissipated when he shoots a mad dog; his defense of a Negro accused of raping a white girl, Mayella Ewell, is followed with avid interest and turns the rabble whites against him. Scout is the means of averting an attack on Atticus but when he loses the case it is Boo who saves Jem and Scout by killing Mayella's father when he attempts to murder them. The shadows of a beginning for black-white understanding, the persistent fight that Scout carries on against school, Jem's emergence into adulthood, Calpurnia's quiet power, and all the incidents touching on the children's "growing outward" have an attractive starchiness that keeps this southern picture pert and provocative. There is much advance interest in this book; it has been selected by the Literary Guild and Reader's Digest; it should win many friends.

Pub Date: July 11, 1960

ISBN: 0060935464

Page Count: 323

Publisher: Lippincott

Review Posted Online: Oct. 7, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 1960

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ONE DAY IN THE LIFE OF IVAN DENISOVICH

While a few weeks ago it seemed as if Praeger would have a two month lead over Dutton in their presentation of this Soviet best seller, both the "authorized" edition (Dutton's) and the "unauthorized" (Praeger's) will appear almost simultaneously. There has been considerable advance attention on what appears to be as much of a publishing cause celebre here as the original appearance of the book in Russia. Without entering into the scrimmage, or dismissing it as a plague on both your houses, we will limit ourselves to a few facts. Royalties from the "unauthorized" edition will go to the International Rescue Committee; Dutton with their contracted edition is adhering to copyright conventions. The Praeger edition has two translators and one of them is the translator of Doctor Zhivago Dutton's translator, Ralph Parker, has been stigmatized by Praeger as "an apologist for the Soviet regime". To the untutored eye, the Dutton translation seems a little more literary, the Praeger perhaps closer to the rather primitive style of the original. The book itself is an account of one day in the three thousand six hundred and fifty three days of the sentence to be served by a carpenter, Ivan Denisovich Shukhov. (Solzhenitsyn was a political prisoner.) From the unrelenting cold without, to the conditions within, from the bathhouse to the latrine to the cells where survival for more than two weeks is impossible, this records the hopeless facts of existence as faced by thousands who went on "living like this, with your eyes on the ground". The Dutton edition has an excellent introduction providing an orientation on the political background to its appearance in Russia by Marvin Kalb. All involved in its publication (translators, introducers, etc.) claim for it great "artistic" values which we cannot share, although there is no question of its importance as a political and human document and as significant and tangible evidence of the de-Stalinization program.

Pub Date: June 15, 1963

ISBN: 0451228146

Page Count: 181

Publisher: Praeger

Review Posted Online: Oct. 5, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 1963

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