A love story that skillfully shows that abusers don’t need to use physical violence to control their victims.


A mysterious cop sweeps a single mother off her feet, but is this Romeo too good to be true? 

Unlucky-in-love Teresa Lansing isn’t looking for romance when she meets Frank McAllister, a “disturbingly good-looking” cop who’s just taken a new job in the small town of Cougar. But sparks fly immediately between the two, and before long the persistent Frank has won over Teresa. Yet the dream guy is not quite what he seems in this cautionary romance from Griffin (Seventeen Days, 2018). Sure, he’s charming and attentive and more than willing to open his wallet to pay for nice dinners. But his intensity is off-putting. After only two dates, he convinces Teresa to join him for a romantic weekend on the coast, where he starts talking about marriage and his plans to pay for her deaf son Aiden’s cochlear implant. The skittish Teresa, still reeling from her ex-boyfriend’s recent infidelity, is rightfully troubled, thinking that her new beau “had skipped several steps in their relationship without her permission.” But Frank doesn’t take no for an answer and Teresa, eager for security, is gradually persuaded that he can be trusted even as the red flags are waving. Frank’s gaslighting is disturbing—the author clearly has a handle on the warning signs of emotional abuse—and Teresa is sympathetically drawn. Even as it’s obvious to readers that Frank’s intentions are suspect, she never comes across as a fool for succumbing to his manipulations or ignoring her best friend’s warning that “rushing things is one of the signs of an abuser.” But as the story progresses, the plot begins to strain credulity. Frank, it turns out, is no garden-variety abuser. Griffin tosses in a lurid backstory involving his ex-wife, who died via autoerotic asphyxiation, and throws in a serial killer who’s been murdering young women in the Cougar area. Still, the final confrontation between Teresa and Frank is legitimately frightening as she discovers to what lengths he’ll go to make her his. 

A love story that skillfully shows that abusers don’t need to use physical violence to control their victims.

Pub Date: July 15, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-5092-2659-7

Page Count: 220

Publisher: The Wild Rose Press, Inc.

Review Posted Online: July 10, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2019

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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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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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