A suspense-driven, sometimes erotic tale with impressive characters.


A Los Angeles literary agent’s new prosperous and alluring client may be a serial killer in Gold’s debut romantic thriller.

Twenty-three-year-old Zia Lennox hasn’t had much success in her two years at Spark Worldwide Literary. But she knows she’s found something special in a submission she’s recently received. Though Chiseled Bone is crime fiction, a genre other agents have written off as dead, Zia feels the genre is ready for a comeback. Her intuition pays off, as she and New York–based Chiseled Bone author Baxter Leopold are triumphant. Around the same time, Zia catches the attention of investment attorney Bryce Fink. As her chronic anxiety deters nearly every potential suitor, Zia cautiously enters into a relationship with Bryce. But the two fall for each other, which Baxter subsequently complicates. When Zia finally meets Baxter, their physical connection is instant and scorching, especially because Bryce seems reluctant to have sex with her. However, as Baxter writes additional novels, Zia can’t ignore the similarities between the murders in his books and those of a real-life serial killer in New York. She feels guilt over her ongoing affair but may have much more to worry about once she hires a PI to run a background check on her tantalizing client. Gold derives plenty of suspense from the uncertainty surrounding Baxter; even readers initially don’t know if he’s homicidal. Zia is an able but flawed protagonist torn between her affection for two very different men. Supporting characters are distinctive in their own ways, particularly the women: Zia’s administrative assistant, Jazz, is resolute and charming while condescending Spark agent Makayla makes a perfect antagonist. Gold fills the pages with explicit scenes of sex but rarely misses an opportunity to ramp up tension, as when Baxter is noticeably violent with Zia. Despite the concise prose, the final act, in unmasking the killer, becomes a bit convoluted with a surprise plan of global proportions. There are nevertheless a few effective twists that don’t necessarily involve the murders.

A suspense-driven, sometimes erotic tale with impressive characters.

Pub Date: N/A

ISBN: 978-1-73408-930-1

Page Count: 233

Publisher: Cayélle Publishing: Haze Imprint

Review Posted Online: Dec. 27, 2019

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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 kind of Holden Caulfield who speaks bravely and winningly from inside the sorrows of autism: wonderful, simple, easy,...


Britisher Haddon debuts in the adult novel with the bittersweet tale of a 15-year-old autistic who’s also a math genius.

Christopher Boone has had some bad knocks: his mother has died (well, she went to the hospital and never came back), and soon after he found a neighbor’s dog on the front lawn, slain by a garden fork stuck through it. A teacher said that he should write something that he “would like to read himself”—and so he embarks on this book, a murder mystery that will reveal who killed Mrs. Shears’s dog. First off, though, is a night in jail for hitting the policeman who questions him about the dog (the cop made the mistake of grabbing the boy by the arm when he can’t stand to be touched—any more than he can stand the colors yellow or brown, or not knowing what’s going to happen next). Christopher’s father bails him out but forbids his doing any more “detecting” about the dog-murder. When Christopher disobeys (and writes about it in his book), a fight ensues and his father confiscates the book. In time, detective-Christopher finds it, along with certain other clues that reveal a very great deal indeed about his mother’s “death,” his father’s own part in it—and the murder of the dog. Calming himself by doing roots, cubes, prime numbers, and math problems in his head, Christopher runs away, braves a train-ride to London, and finds—his mother. How can this be? Read and see. Neither parent, if truth be told, is the least bit prepossessing or more than a cutout. Christopher, though, with pet rat Toby in his pocket and advanced “maths” in his head, is another matter indeed, and readers will cheer when, way precociously, he takes his A-level maths and does brilliantly.

A kind of Holden Caulfield who speaks bravely and winningly from inside the sorrows of autism: wonderful, simple, easy, moving, and likely to be a smash.

Pub Date: June 17, 2003

ISBN: 0-385-50945-6

Page Count: 224

Publisher: Doubleday

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 2003

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