A deadly game involving a dangerous girl that does have a winner: the reader.


From the The Lizzy Ballard Thrillers series , Vol. 1

A secret fertility experiment goes wrong in this thriller.

In Dalrymple’s (The Sense of Reckoning, 2015, etc.) latest novel, new parents Patrick and Charlotte Ballard are grateful to Gerard Bonnay; his wife, Dr. Louise Mortensen; and their fertility company, Vivantem, for helping them conceive what seems like a normal child. But when Lizzy is age 4, she changes. One afternoon, she gets upset when she falls and cuts her lip; her mother fares far worse. She gets a searing headache, which is literally Lizzy’s fault. It is the first of many times the girl becomes upset and inflicts a small stroke on her mother. Lizzy does the same thing to a classmate at preschool. “I squeezed his head,” she says about a boy who colored in her book. Lizzy can’t help her bad behavior; it’s in her DNA. Before she was born, Bonnay and Mortensen tinkered with her chromosomes in hopes of developing a telepath. Although not telepathic, Lizzy certainly has a unique talent—causing a person’s brain to bleed. After her parents recognize Lizzy’s power, Charlotte moves with her to a remote cabin to avoid her “squeezing” anyone else’s head and to ensure no one can discover her secret. Patrick visits the cabin on weekends, and a hired housekeeper, Ruby DiMano, comes on weekdays. Unbeknown to the Ballards, Bonnay pays Ruby to spy on the family. Unbeknown to Bonnay, Mitchell Pieda, another Vivantem baby, has developed the skills to “squeeze” and to read minds. Pieda isn’t reluctant to use his dual abilities. Once he reconnects with the Vivantem team, they decide to eliminate formidable Lizzy, now in her late teens. Dalrymple has written a fast-paced, complex thriller that can keep a reader engaged and off-kilter until its foreboding conclusion. The Vivantem conspirators chillingly term Lizzy “an experiment that didn’t work out.” The anxiety of protecting a child at all costs is palpable, as is the terror of not being able to control one’s own urges, however devastating they might be. A scene with Lizzy, Patrick, and a loud cellphone caller in a train’s “quiet car” is particularly unnerving. Readers should hope the author conceives of a sequel.

A deadly game involving a dangerous girl that does have a winner: the reader. 

Pub Date: Feb. 8, 2017

ISBN: 978-0-9862675-2-9

Page Count: 358

Publisher: William Kingsfield Publishers

Review Posted Online: Feb. 23, 2017

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There are unforgettable beauties in this very sexy story.


Passion, friendship, heartbreak, and forgiveness ring true in Lovering's debut, the tale of a young woman's obsession with a man who's "good at being charming."

Long Island native Lucy Albright, starts her freshman year at Baird College in Southern California, intending to study English and journalism and become a travel writer. Stephen DeMarco, an upperclassman, is a political science major who plans to become a lawyer. Soon after they meet, Lucy tells Stephen an intensely personal story about the Unforgivable Thing, a betrayal that turned Lucy against her mother. Stephen pretends to listen to Lucy's painful disclosure, but all his thoughts are about her exposed black bra strap and her nipples pressing against her thin cotton T-shirt. It doesn't take Lucy long to realize Stephen's a "manipulative jerk" and she is "beyond pathetic" in her desire for him, but their lives are now intertwined. Their story takes seven years to unfold, but it's a fast-paced ride through hookups, breakups, and infidelities fueled by alcohol and cocaine and with oodles of sizzling sexual tension. "Lucy was an itch, a song stuck in your head or a movie you need to rewatch or a food you suddenly crave," Stephen says in one of his point-of-view chapters, which alternate with Lucy's. The ending is perfect, as Lucy figures out the dark secret Stephen has kept hidden and learns the difference between lustful addiction and mature love.

There are unforgettable beauties in this very sexy story.

Pub Date: June 12, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-5011-6964-9

Page Count: 352

Publisher: Atria

Review Posted Online: March 20, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 2018

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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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