This thriller can’t decide if it wants to entertain or convert.



This bold Christian thriller sees a covert organization go to war against the supernatural.

In 1994, Dominic “Nick” Moreau’s wife and child were killed by what he described as a werewolf. The authorities, though, believed him to be the true murderer and locked him up. Enter Christopher Griffin, who interviewed Nick in prison, posing as an FBI agent, and explained his work for Knightlight—a group in God’s service that battles supernatural evil. Griffin invited Nick—himself a dedicated Christian with military experience—to join. Now codenamed Rock, Nick leads a Trinity squad that eliminates vampires, werewolves and other demonic hybrids fallen from God’s grace. Rock’s latest mission involves investigating Malcolm Carson, a famous sasquatch hunter who has assembled a massive hunting party to find his quarry in Montgomery County, Ind. The area has suffered a rash of grisly slayings that remind Rock of the beast that killed his family. Responsible for the chaos is Darlene, the mild-mannered leader of a satanic cult who helps foment the darkness that’s been brewing since Israel became a nation in 1947. Rock’s squad intends to shine a light on Darlene while protecting the misguided Carson and his lovely daughter, Crystal. Debut author Rossi brings clean action and humor to the adventure, which occasionally pops with one-liners: “Whatever Hell spat out, Knightlight was there to engage and return to its pit.” But much of the prose can be stilted: “The broad-brimmed hat that covered his head had absorbed much sweat in the heat of the day and was finally drying in the slight night breeze of the still very warm evening.” The largest problems, though, are the defensive political screeds that interrupt the narrative. For instance, a discussion on terrorism is full of bolded, italicized phrases, such as: “Freedom itself was shamed that day.” There’s also a tendency toward intellectual blandness, culminating in the line: “Artists, Crystal thought, who can understand them?”

This thriller can’t decide if it wants to entertain or convert.

Pub Date: April 26, 2013

ISBN: 978-1452572222

Page Count: 498

Publisher: BalboaPress

Review Posted Online: March 17, 2021

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The phrase “tour de force” could have been invented for this audacious novel.

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Four men who meet as college roommates move to New York and spend the next three decades gaining renown in their professions—as an architect, painter, actor and lawyer—and struggling with demons in their intertwined personal lives.

Yanagihara (The People in the Trees, 2013) takes the still-bold leap of writing about characters who don’t share her background; in addition to being male, JB is African-American, Malcolm has a black father and white mother, Willem is white, and “Jude’s race was undetermined”—deserted at birth, he was raised in a monastery and had an unspeakably traumatic childhood that’s revealed slowly over the course of the book. Two of them are gay, one straight and one bisexual. There isn’t a single significant female character, and for a long novel, there isn’t much plot. There aren’t even many markers of what’s happening in the outside world; Jude moves to a loft in SoHo as a young man, but we don’t see the neighborhood change from gritty artists’ enclave to glitzy tourist destination. What we get instead is an intensely interior look at the friends’ psyches and relationships, and it’s utterly enthralling. The four men think about work and creativity and success and failure; they cook for each other, compete with each other and jostle for each other’s affection. JB bases his entire artistic career on painting portraits of his friends, while Malcolm takes care of them by designing their apartments and houses. When Jude, as an adult, is adopted by his favorite Harvard law professor, his friends join him for Thanksgiving in Cambridge every year. And when Willem becomes a movie star, they all bask in his glow. Eventually, the tone darkens and the story narrows to focus on Jude as the pain of his past cuts deep into his carefully constructed life.  

The phrase “tour de force” could have been invented for this audacious novel.

Pub Date: March 10, 2015

ISBN: 978-0-385-53925-8

Page Count: 720

Publisher: Doubleday

Review Posted Online: Dec. 22, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2015

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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

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