As in his dark debut, Shooting Dr. Jack (2001), Green presents a cast of folks who talk like Elmore Leonard but live in a...


An Army veteran returns to a Brooklyn Heights stewpot that makes his recent tour of Vietnam look like a cakewalk.

Even before he rose to power in one of New York’s Five Families, Domenic Scalia never liked Silvano Iurata. He thinks his underachieving cousin killed Little Dom’s mobbed-up father Angelo 20 years earlier. He thinks Silvano slept with his sister Jeannette and drove her to a cloistered order as the only place she could escape him. He’s made it clear that he’d like nothing better than to slit Silvano’s throat—if only he could find him. And now it’s 1973, and Silvano is back in town, living in the Montague, a rotting hotel right under his cousin’s nose, asking questions about his brother Nunzio, who disappeared from the even more decrepit St. Felix with nary a trace. His nosy questions provide a golden opportunity for Little Dom to avenge his relatives, consolidate his power, and make his move on the Black and White armored car company—all the while giving Ivan Bonifacio, his latest enforcer, a chance to flex his muscles. Silvano knows his cousin is gunning for him, but he’s not losing any sleep over the dangers of returning to the neighborhood. He’s a man who can handle himself—even before his military stint, he’d compiled an impressive record as an amateur boxer—and his thirst for vengeance is just as strong as Little Dom’s. Joined on occasion by beautiful Elia Taskent of Black and White, he navigates the treacherous byways of Brooklyn, meeting a dozen sad survivors for a hundred unforgettable conversations on the road to his destiny.

As in his dark debut, Shooting Dr. Jack (2001), Green presents a cast of folks who talk like Elmore Leonard but live in a reeking urban hell right out of George P. Pelecanos—along with their sense of grim fatalism in the face of impossible odds.

Pub Date: May 12, 2003

ISBN: 0-06-018819-7

Page Count: 304

Publisher: HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 2003

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Nothing original, but in Hilderbrand’s hands it’s easy to get lost in the story.


Privileged 30-somethings hide from their woes in Nantucket.

Hilderbrand’s saga follows the lives of Melanie, Brenda and Vicki. Vicki, alpha mom and perfect wife, is battling late-stage lung cancer and, in an uncharacteristically flaky moment, opts for chemotherapy at the beach. Vicki shares ownership of a tiny Nantucket cottage with her younger sister Brenda. Brenda, a literature professor, tags along for the summer, partly out of familial duty, partly because she’s fleeing the fallout from her illicit affair with a student. As for Melanie, she gets a last minute invite from Vicki, after Melanie confides that Melanie’s husband is having an affair. Between Melanie and Brenda, Vicki feels her two young boys should have adequate supervision, but a disastrous first day on the island forces the trio to source some outside help. Enter Josh, the adorable and affable local who is hired to tend to the boys. On break from college, Josh learns about the pitfalls of mature love as he falls for the beauties in the snug abode. Josh likes beer, analysis-free relationships and hot older women. In a word, he’s believable. In addition to a healthy dose of testosterone, the novel is balanced by powerful descriptions of Vicki’s bond with her two boys. Emotions run high as she prepares for death.

Nothing original, but in Hilderbrand’s hands it’s easy to get lost in the story.

Pub Date: July 2, 2007

ISBN: 978-0-316-01858-6

Page Count: 352

Publisher: Little, Brown

Review Posted Online: June 24, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15, 2007

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More about grief and tragedy than romance.


Five friends meet on their first day of kindergarten at the exclusive Atwood School and remain lifelong friends through tragedy and triumph.

When Gabby, Billy, Izzie, Andy and Sean meet in the toy kitchen of the kindergarten classroom on their first day of school, no one can know how strong the group’s friendship will remain. Despite their different personalities and interests, the five grow up together and become even closer as they come into their own talents and life paths. But tragedy will strike and strike again. Family troubles, abusive parents, drugs, alcohol, stress, grief and even random bad luck will put pressure on each of them individually and as a group. Known for her emotional romances, Steel makes a bit of a departure with this effort that follows a group of friends through young adulthood. But even as one tragedy after another befalls the friends, the impact of the events is blunted by a distant narrative style that lacks emotional intensity. 

More about grief and tragedy than romance.

Pub Date: July 24, 2012

ISBN: 978-0-385-34321-3

Page Count: 322

Publisher: Delacorte

Review Posted Online: Nov. 14, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2012

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