A playful, well-researched thriller that remains romantically genuine throughout.

INCONCLUSIVE EVIDENCE

From the McAllister Justice Series series

This third volume of a series finds a family of lawmen—and a veterinarian—trying to thwart a scheme to manipulate the populace with microchips.

Megan Chauner is a veterinarian in the Portland, Oregon, area. When she receives a strange package from her best friend, investigative reporter Jackie Milburn, she follows its instructions. Megan pulls up stakes and rents a remote cabin, hoping to keep the package—containing evidence of unethical work performed by CSV Pharmaceuticals—secure. The company's research revolves around quantum tunneling and carbon nano tubes as drug delivery systems. When Megan learns that Jackie has been killed, she fears that she’s next. Heavy footsteps arrive outside the cabin, and she and Leyna, a white shepherd dog, stand ready. But the grizzly sized man who’s arrived is none other than Detective Lucas McAllister, part-time resident of the cabin. Still wounded from the gang-related ambush that killed his partner, Lucas is easily tranquilized and trussed up by Megan. After a cooling-off period, he decides to help her investigate the sinister plans of CSV and the company ClickChip, which makes implantable chips that can dissolve inside a living organism, leaving no trace of the owner’s manipulation. But Lucas has lost one partner in the line of duty. Does he dare place another in jeopardy? Though the sex jokes fly with campy abandon, Garrett (Bound by Shadows, 2017, etc.) ensures that the hero’s emotional healing remains the backbone of the narrative. In the first half, readers will likely titter at the verbal foreplay between Megan and Lucas, as when she says, “Make it quick, since that’s probably your trademark.” Despite an instant physical attraction, their romance develops organically. Later the McAllister clan appears, including Caden, Ethan, and Billy, as well as Lexi Donovan, the hacker from Digital Velocity (2017). Garrett keeps the science components accessible, as in the line “The chip is a polymer that dissolves when the temperature drops, as in when the animal dies.” Those unfamiliar with the McAllisters should enjoy this installment, though a full series read will deliver the maximum emotional impact.

A playful, well-researched thriller that remains romantically genuine throughout.

Pub Date: March 26, 2018

ISBN: 978-0-9989265-3-7

Page Count: 300

Publisher: Garrett Publishing

Review Posted Online: April 26, 2018

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

The phrase “tour de force” could have been invented for this audacious novel.

Our Verdict

  • Our Verdict
  • GET IT

  • Kirkus Reviews'
    Best Books Of 2015

  • Kirkus Prize
  • Kirkus Prize
    winner

  • National Book Award Finalist

A LITTLE LIFE

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

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

Kin “[find] each other’s lives inscrutable” in this rich, sharp story about the way identity is formed.

Reader Votes

  • Readers Vote
  • 38

Our Verdict

  • Our Verdict
  • GET IT

  • Kirkus Reviews'
    Best Books Of 2020

  • New York Times Bestseller

  • IndieBound Bestseller

THE VANISHING HALF

Inseparable identical twin sisters ditch home together, and then one decides to vanish.

The talented Bennett fuels her fiction with secrets—first in her lauded debut, The Mothers (2016), and now in the assured and magnetic story of the Vignes sisters, light-skinned women parked on opposite sides of the color line. Desiree, the “fidgety twin,” and Stella, “a smart, careful girl,” make their break from stultifying rural Mallard, Louisiana, becoming 16-year-old runaways in 1954 New Orleans. The novel opens 14 years later as Desiree, fleeing a violent marriage in D.C., returns home with a different relative: her 8-year-old daughter, Jude. The gossips are agog: “In Mallard, nobody married dark....Marrying a dark man and dragging his blueblack child all over town was one step too far.” Desiree's decision seals Jude’s misery in this “colorstruck” place and propels a new generation of flight: Jude escapes on a track scholarship to UCLA. Tending bar as a side job in Beverly Hills, she catches a glimpse of her mother’s doppelgänger. Stella, ensconced in White society, is shedding her fur coat. Jude, so Black that strangers routinely stare, is unrecognizable to her aunt. All this is expertly paced, unfurling before the book is half finished; a reader can guess what is coming. Bennett is deeply engaged in the unknowability of other people and the scourge of colorism. The scene in which Stella adopts her White persona is a tour de force of doubling and confusion. It calls up Toni Morrison’s The Bluest Eye, the book's 50-year-old antecedent. Bennett's novel plays with its characters' nagging feelings of being incomplete—for the twins without each other; for Jude’s boyfriend, Reese, who is trans and seeks surgery; for their friend Barry, who performs in drag as Bianca. Bennett keeps all these plot threads thrumming and her social commentary crisp. In the second half, Jude spars with her cousin Kennedy, Stella's daughter, a spoiled actress.

Kin “[find] each other’s lives inscrutable” in this rich, sharp story about the way identity is formed.

Pub Date: June 2, 2020

ISBN: 978-0-525-53629-1

Page Count: 352

Publisher: Riverhead

Review Posted Online: March 15, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 2020

Did you like this book?

more