A fast-paced investigation, full of mystery and suspense.

Patriot's Blood

In Holcroft’s debut thriller, a lawyer looks into the murder of his client, a witness who may have spotted an unidentified accomplice in the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing.

In 2011, Dallas attorney Mike Marchetti has only known his newest client, Robert Baker, an agent for the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives, for a few hours before Baker turns up dead, killed in an alleged robbery. It turns out that the agent had a plan for this eventuality, though, leaving Marchetti money to investigate his death. It seems that he was one of 10 people who claimed to have seen an unknown man with Timothy McVeigh more than 15 years earlier, right before the infamous bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building. Not only has the FBI failed to locate the mysterious accomplice, but with Baker gone, the original 10 witnesses are now down to four—the others also died in dubious circumstances, including two in separate drive-by shootings. Marchetti and his private-investigator pal Tom Shannon see potential links between McVeigh and various groups, including terrorists and white supremacists. They also suspect a “high-level cover-up,” speculating, among other things, that the explosives at the Murrah Building were considerably more than just a truck bomb. A break-in at his office makes Marchetti believe that his investigation has made him a target himself. This is all but confirmed after two separate attempts on his life. Hopefully, he can stop whoever’s after him before they hurt someone he loves—such as his 10-year-old son, Scott. Holcroft’s taut narrative starts the core mystery off on the very first page, and quickly piles on the suspects and conspiracy theories. The protagonist, meanwhile, has a personal investment in the tale, having lost his younger sister during the 9/11 attacks, and he faces myriad obstacles along the way—including Baker’s daughter, Sheri Baker, whose lawyer demands that Marchetti return the posthumous $20,000 retainer. Instances from the villains’ perspectives primarily highlight specific dangers to Marchetti, but the overall sense of menace gives the story a relentless edge, as if anyone could attack at any time. The ending is both realistic and terrifying: Marchetti does get answers, but only some—and a further threat could very well still exist.

A fast-paced investigation, full of mystery and suspense.

Pub Date: Nov. 26, 2012

ISBN: 978-1-4802-8963-5

Page Count: 424

Publisher: CreateSpace

Review Posted Online: Dec. 2, 2016

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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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