An array of zestful characters rescues this adventure’s somewhat muddled plot.


A former Hollywood star gets caught up in drugs, terrorists, and international espionage in this globe-trotting novel.

It’s been years since Londoner Eddy Relish’s Hollywood career fizzled. Nowadays, he’s borrowing money from “Reverend” Bill Blake, a vicious man who repeatedly quotes the Bible and has an affinity for nail guns. When Eddy can’t repay a loan, Bill forces him to become a drug mule. But Chinese intelligence operative Cynthia Tzin comes to Eddy’s aid. She knows him from his days in the United States, where she’s nightclub-owning Madam Sin. Cynthia believes Eddy can be an asset in gathering intel for China. But Eddy’s earlier chance encounter with Islamic terrorist Abdul Madbul also puts him in the unique position of being the only person who can identify the evasive extremist. Cynthia will help Eddy reestablish himself in Hollywood, where he’ll essentially be bait to catch Madbul. Indeed, the terrorist knows Eddy can ID him and is therefore on the hunt. So, too, is Bill, as Eddy failed to transport the reverend’s heroin from Hong Kong. Even Eddy’s comeback is in danger: Producer Cy Sly, who played a part in crushing the actor’s career the first time, plans to do it again. Dalzell (Everything Hurts, 2014, etc.) and debut author Radley swiftly kick-start their novel, as Bill is threatening Eddy with his nail gun in little time. The plot eventually spins threads that feature numerous other characters from around the world. Bill, in particular, finds friends and foes among the Russians, the Japanese, and more. In fact, many of the supporting characters prove much more intriguing than the protagonist, including Cynthia, whose authority and prowess are never in question, and Eddy’s girlfriend, Sharon Constable, who runs for council in the couple’s London borough. Though the authors’ tight prose and abundant subplots keep the narrative moving at a steady clip, the story is occasionally perplexing. A surprise blood relation between two characters, for example, has no real bearing on the plot. And why Madbul still wants to eliminate Eddy after the terrorist’s sketch goes public remains unclear.

An array of zestful characters rescues this adventure’s somewhat muddled plot.

Pub Date: April 15, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-72830-793-0

Page Count: 284

Publisher: AuthorHouse

Review Posted Online: July 15, 2019

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A first novel, this is also a first person account of Scout's (Jean Louise) recall of the years that led to the ending of a mystery, the breaking of her brother Jem's elbow, the death of her father's enemy — and the close of childhood years. A widower, Atticus raises his children with legal dispassion and paternal intelligence, and is ably abetted by Calpurnia, the colored cook, while the Alabama town of Maycomb, in the 1930's, remains aloof to their divergence from its tribal patterns. Scout and Jem, with their summer-time companion, Dill, find their paths free from interference — but not from dangers; their curiosity about the imprisoned Boo, whose miserable past is incorporated in their play, results in a tentative friendliness; their fears of Atticus' lack of distinction is dissipated when he shoots a mad dog; his defense of a Negro accused of raping a white girl, Mayella Ewell, is followed with avid interest and turns the rabble whites against him. Scout is the means of averting an attack on Atticus but when he loses the case it is Boo who saves Jem and Scout by killing Mayella's father when he attempts to murder them. The shadows of a beginning for black-white understanding, the persistent fight that Scout carries on against school, Jem's emergence into adulthood, Calpurnia's quiet power, and all the incidents touching on the children's "growing outward" have an attractive starchiness that keeps this southern picture pert and provocative. There is much advance interest in this book; it has been selected by the Literary Guild and Reader's Digest; it should win many friends.

Pub Date: July 11, 1960

ISBN: 0060935464

Page Count: 323

Publisher: Lippincott

Review Posted Online: Oct. 7, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 1960

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While a few weeks ago it seemed as if Praeger would have a two month lead over Dutton in their presentation of this Soviet best seller, both the "authorized" edition (Dutton's) and the "unauthorized" (Praeger's) will appear almost simultaneously. There has been considerable advance attention on what appears to be as much of a publishing cause celebre here as the original appearance of the book in Russia. Without entering into the scrimmage, or dismissing it as a plague on both your houses, we will limit ourselves to a few facts. Royalties from the "unauthorized" edition will go to the International Rescue Committee; Dutton with their contracted edition is adhering to copyright conventions. The Praeger edition has two translators and one of them is the translator of Doctor Zhivago Dutton's translator, Ralph Parker, has been stigmatized by Praeger as "an apologist for the Soviet regime". To the untutored eye, the Dutton translation seems a little more literary, the Praeger perhaps closer to the rather primitive style of the original. The book itself is an account of one day in the three thousand six hundred and fifty three days of the sentence to be served by a carpenter, Ivan Denisovich Shukhov. (Solzhenitsyn was a political prisoner.) From the unrelenting cold without, to the conditions within, from the bathhouse to the latrine to the cells where survival for more than two weeks is impossible, this records the hopeless facts of existence as faced by thousands who went on "living like this, with your eyes on the ground". The Dutton edition has an excellent introduction providing an orientation on the political background to its appearance in Russia by Marvin Kalb. All involved in its publication (translators, introducers, etc.) claim for it great "artistic" values which we cannot share, although there is no question of its importance as a political and human document and as significant and tangible evidence of the de-Stalinization program.

Pub Date: June 15, 1963

ISBN: 0451228146

Page Count: 181

Publisher: Praeger

Review Posted Online: Oct. 5, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 1963

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