Jettisoning the increasingly feeble mysteries that have been the weakest part of his recent thrillers (Stranger in Paradise,...

RESOLUTION

Everett Hitch and Virgil Cole ride (separately) into the western town of Resolution and deal with the trouble that instantly springs up to greet them.

Amos Wolfson, who owns the Blackfoot Saloon, has already lost several bouncers, one to a smartly placed bullet, when he offers the job to Everett Hitch. Hitch’s approach to the position doesn’t sound very ambitious. He sits night after night in the saloon with a shotgun, waiting to see what develops, and passing the time by adopting such a protective attitude toward local members of the oldest profession that Wolfson sneeringly calls him “Fucking Saint Everett of the Whores.” For all of Hitch’s sentimentality, his tactics are highly effective against Koy Wickman, the weaselly provocateur who works for copper-mine owner Eamon O’Malley. In no time at all Wickman’s been retired, buried and replaced by the fearsome twosome of Cato Tillson and Frank Rose. When Virgil Cole arrives and decides to throw in with his old friend (Appaloosa, 2005) once more, the stage seems set for a showdown between the two legendary pairs of gunslingers as they eye each other from the saloons they’ve signed on to keep orderly. But Parker, in a pleasing twist, allows all four to sidestep the turf war between Wolfson and O’Malley for the land and limited wealth of Resolution, and to join forces against Wolfson’s company store, which has been squeezing them dry. Cole calmly predicts that Wolfson will dismiss his inconveniently activist gunslingers only after he’s found replacements prepared to stand against them, and that’s exactly what happens.

Jettisoning the increasingly feeble mysteries that have been the weakest part of his recent thrillers (Stranger in Paradise, 2008, etc.), Parker focuses on what he does best—ritualistically clipped dialogue and manly posturing—and serves up a reminder of just how much hardboiled fiction owes the Western.

Pub Date: June 3, 2008

ISBN: 978-0-399-15504-8

Page Count: 304

Publisher: Putnam

Review Posted Online: June 24, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 2008

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There are unforgettable beauties in this very sexy story.

TELL ME LIES

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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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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