A solid, action-packed financial thriller, ideal for beach reading.

The Icarus Prediction

A Wall Street golden boy applies the skills he learned while working for the CIA in this debut novel.

From Beirut to Pakistan to Russia to the nation of Georgia to New York, this tale breathlessly travels the globe as Jarrod Stryker races to rescue his Wall Street firm from financial ruin and certain criminal prosecution due to his mentor’s mismanagement. Readers are in Big Short territory here with lots of talk of CDOs, unhedged positions, and discretionary equity accounts. “Extraordinary measures have to be taken,” Stryker resolves. This involves the necessity of oil prices dropping below a certain benchmark, and a Stryker-devised “Hail Mary” juggling of funds—a scheme given a high rate of success by Icarus, the firm’s $8 million supercomputer. “Either you are totally insane, or you have the biggest set of stones on Wall Street,” a co-worker tells him. But Chechen militants, led by “the Russian bin Laden,” blow up a Russian pipeline, sending oil prices up. Before they can strike again, it is up to Stryker to rely on his CIA training to neutralize them and drive prices down. He reunites with former fellow operative and lover Sarah Kashvilli, for whom he had “fallen on his sword,” resulting in Stryker being drummed out of the agency. Gupta writes credibly about the financial maneuverings while building suspense regarding what the terrorists are up to. Humor is not his strong suit, and the prose at times can be inelegant (“Sheila and Don looked as if they had just had a bowel movement”). Stryker and Sarah are slated to return in a sequel in 2017. That’s too long to wait for Sarah, who deserves a book of her own. She possesses an intriguing back story and spectacular sniper and combat skills that, in one of the book’s most audacious set pieces, impress even a Delta Force commander. Parachuting off a mesa’s edge, grenades in each hand, Sarah single-handedly takes out a truck containing four members of al-Qaida.

A solid, action-packed financial thriller, ideal for beach reading.

Pub Date: Oct. 27, 2015

ISBN: 978-0-692-34672-3

Page Count: 288

Publisher: KadaMedia Publishing

Review Posted Online: May 10, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2016

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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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