A delightful detective who more than earns and deserves her own series.


In Regan’s (Hold Still, 2014, etc.) thriller, Philadelphia private investigator Jocelyn Rush takes the reins of a cold case from a terminal ex–homicide detective who needs help finding the killer before he dies.

The unsolved murder of teenager Sydney Adams has left former detective Augustus Knox’s life in ruins. Fourteen years later, his wife and job are gone, his daughter hates him, and his alcoholism has ravaged so much of his body that he has mere months to live. He seeks help from Jocelyn, a retired cop now with her own investigation firm. Knox is sure the murderer’s Cash Rigo, Sydney’s married high school coach, who’d likely had an affair with the girl, a dalliance seemingly confirmed by recently discovered photos. Sydney’s murder looks like a random shooting to Jocelyn, but Rigo definitely doesn’t appear innocent, especially with his rickety alibi. Jocelyn teams up with homicide cop Trent Razmus and brings the case in from the cold with news reports declaring new evidence (though it’s not necessarily true) and a fundraiser in Sydney’s honor. Jocelyn eventually links Rigo to a suspicious death and sees signs that he’s abusing his pregnant wife, Francine. But she may underestimate certain people’s desires to keep the truth hidden, which could put Jocelyn’s own life in danger. The protagonist is just as unyielding as she was in Regan’s previous novel: she’s not one to readily offer forgiveness, but her resolve is commendable. There’s little mystery to the story, as Jocelyn has few suspects and spends more time trying to extract a confession from Rigo than investigating the case. But Jocelyn’s life brims with hurdles. The tortured Knox, for one, is perpetually drunk, while Jocelyn fears that sister Camille, a former addict, may want to take away her 4-year-old daughter, Olivia, whom Jocelyn’s raised as her own. Jocelyn’s as tough as they come, but couple that with her motherly instincts, and it’s categorically endearing: “Why can’t I make cupcakes that look like Minions or a goddamn Disney Princess?” the typically foulmouthed private eye grumbles. Even if readers are a step or two ahead of Jocelyn in the investigation, her charisma is unmitigated and unending.

A delightful detective who more than earns and deserves her own series.

Pub Date: Dec. 4, 2015

ISBN: 978-0-9967159-2-8

Page Count: 310

Publisher: Prodorutti Books

Review Posted Online: Jan. 11, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 2016

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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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