A lickety-split ride. Ledwidge (Bad Connection, 2001, etc.) races over plot-holes as if they weren’t there, which will be...


Fast-paced thriller about a good cop’s desperate attempt to cope with a bad deal.

Write a job description for a first-rate young police officer, and John Colgin would qualify as an NYPD paradigm. Brave, honest, smart, unshakable in his view of law enforcement as a high calling, he’s exactly what NYPD brass should want to see in blue. Or so you’d think. And so did Colgin, until suddenly it all fell apart for him because—and there was really no other way to look at it—NYPD brass wanted it to. He has no idea why. All he knows for sure is that after intervening to save an old man from a brutal beating, he’d ended having to shoot the assailant to save his own life: a rightful case of self-defense if ever there was one. Yet, a month later, there’s Colgin facing a charge of second-degree murder that almost no one, including his lawyer, thinks he can beat. He’s friendless, embattled, and, since he’s thoroughly aware of what an ex-cop can expect at the hands of the hard-timers—more than a little scared. Enter Aidan O’Donnell, Colgin’s reprobate uncle fresh out of San Quentin but not out of family feeling. In his own dubious way, he cares for Colgin and generously offers him a prominent place in his next venture: grand larceny. Then, take the money and run, he tells his nephew. It’s the measure of Colgin’s mind-numbing bitterness that he regards this as a feasible plan. It goes terribly wrong, of course, hardly a surprise. What is a surprise, though, to Colgin at least, when at last he figures it out, is the combination of circumstances that made him an NYPD patsy.

A lickety-split ride. Ledwidge (Bad Connection, 2001, etc.) races over plot-holes as if they weren’t there, which will be good enough for most swept-along readers.

Pub Date: Jan. 1, 2003

ISBN: 0-7434-4285-7

Page Count: 320

Publisher: Atria

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 15, 2002

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A modern day fable, with modern implications in a deceiving simplicity, by the author of Dickens. Dali and Others (Reynal & Hitchcock, p. 138), whose critical brilliance is well adapted to this type of satire. This tells of the revolt on a farm, against humans, when the pigs take over the intellectual superiority, training the horses, cows, sheep, etc., into acknowledging their greatness. The first hints come with the reading out of a pig who instigated the building of a windmill, so that the electric power would be theirs, the idea taken over by Napoleon who becomes topman with no maybes about it. Napoleon trains the young puppies to be his guards, dickers with humans, gradually instigates a reign of terror, and breaks the final commandment against any animal walking on two legs. The old faithful followers find themselves no better off for food and work than they were when man ruled them, learn their final disgrace when they see Napoleon and Squealer carousing with their enemies... A basic statement of the evils of dictatorship in that it not only corrupts the leaders, but deadens the intelligence and awareness of those led so that tyranny is inevitable. Mr. Orwell's animals exist in their own right, with a narrative as individual as it is apt in political parody.

Pub Date: Aug. 26, 1946

ISBN: 0452277507

Page Count: 114

Publisher: Harcourt, Brace

Review Posted Online: Nov. 2, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 1946

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Doerr captures the sights and sounds of wartime and focuses, refreshingly, on the innate goodness of his major characters.

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Doerr presents us with two intricate stories, both of which take place during World War II; late in the novel, inevitably, they intersect.

In August 1944, Marie-Laure LeBlanc is a blind 16-year-old living in the walled port city of Saint-Malo in Brittany and hoping to escape the effects of Allied bombing. D-Day took place two months earlier, and Cherbourg, Caen and Rennes have already been liberated. She’s taken refuge in this city with her great-uncle Etienne, at first a fairly frightening figure to her. Marie-Laure’s father was a locksmith and craftsman who made scale models of cities that Marie-Laure studied so she could travel around on her own. He also crafted clever and intricate boxes, within which treasures could be hidden. Parallel to the story of Marie-Laure we meet Werner and Jutta Pfennig, a brother and sister, both orphans who have been raised in the Children’s House outside Essen, in Germany. Through flashbacks we learn that Werner had been a curious and bright child who developed an obsession with radio transmitters and receivers, both in their infancies during this period. Eventually, Werner goes to a select technical school and then, at 18, into the Wehrmacht, where his technical aptitudes are recognized and he’s put on a team trying to track down illegal radio transmissions. Etienne and Marie-Laure are responsible for some of these transmissions, but Werner is intrigued since what she’s broadcasting is innocent—she shares her passion for Jules Verne by reading aloud 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea. A further subplot involves Marie-Laure’s father’s having hidden a valuable diamond, one being tracked down by Reinhold von Rumpel, a relentless German sergeant-major.

Doerr captures the sights and sounds of wartime and focuses, refreshingly, on the innate goodness of his major characters.

Pub Date: May 6, 2014

ISBN: 978-1-4767-4658-6

Page Count: 448

Publisher: Scribner

Review Posted Online: March 6, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2014

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