A playful murder tale that should please longtime fans of this series and seduce new ones.

SHATTERED REFLECTIONS

FIRE AND ICE WERE NEVER MEANT TO COEXIST

From the McAllister Justice series , Vol. 5

This fifth installment of a series finds a detective tangled in the dangerous life of a private investigator.

Denny Alscher is a scientist working at Horizon Solar. He’s discovered a way to “weaponize the generation of liquid solar fuel” and hopes to sell the formulas. He meets his old friends Mitch Calantus and Larry Neaman at an abandoned school. When he realizes they plan to shoot him, Denny impales Mitch with a wooden picket. After escaping, Denny decides to hire a Portland, Oregon, area private eye to make it seem like he killed Mitch in self-defense. Enter 21-year-old Kathryn “Katt” Nugle, a feisty sleuth with a pink streak in her hair and a pet ferret, Gila. She’s also friends with the McAllister clan, six siblings committed to police and investigative work. Detective Matt McAllister has been determined to protect Katt since her kidnapping by the Biobotics company. Though 10 years separate the two, they share a fiery sexual tension that’s impossible to ignore. When Katt’s latest employer, Denny, leaves his bloodied jacket at their meeting—only to eventually fire her—she and Matt try to puzzle out the situation. Their struggle deepens as Denny’s fiancee, Molly, is found dead. Molly is the sister of Carina Frendal, an old flame of Matt’s who’s just re-entered his life. In this volume, Garrett (Carbon Replacements, 2018, etc.) continues to expand the McAllisters’ steamy and perilous world. While romance frequently overtakes the narrative’s thriller aspects, readers should appreciate the realism of lines like “Whenever undertaking assignments associated with increased risk,” Katt “smudged her license plate with mud.” The age-gap dynamic is explored well, as Matt resists Katt’s advances as long as possible, sure that “you should have a boy who sweeps you off your feet but can...meet you halfway, not one who...leaves you praying you can maintain your identity.” The author writes natural, often excellent dialogue, though she tends to overexamine her characters’ thoughts and feelings in the surrounding exposition. Nevertheless, Katt and Matt create a bond that readers should want to see fleshed out further.

A playful murder tale that should please longtime fans of this series and seduce new ones.

Pub Date: Jan. 7, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-79037-377-2

Page Count: 281

Publisher: Time Tunnel Media

Review Posted Online: Jan. 14, 2019

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ONE DAY IN THE LIFE OF IVAN DENISOVICH

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

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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

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