Mildly amusing setup for what could be a pleasant series, from attorney-author Liebman (Shark Tales, 2000, etc.).



A couple of criminal lawyers run scared from their clients through the South Jersey underworld.

Camden, N.J., home of Campbell’s Soup, has enough mean guys getting into trouble to keep childhood buddies and former cops Mickie Mezzonatti and Junior “Junne” Salerno busy. The two run a criminal defense practice. As dedicated to their job and their clients as Rumpole, but way, way down market from the British defender, they rent office space from a group of ambulance chasers specializing in spurious disability claims. The two are intellectually matched (both scrambled to pass the bar), agree on ethics (no abetting the clients) and share ethnic roots, but there is a critical division: Mickie is an inveterate womanizer, thrice married, and Junne is gay. He’s as closeted as a televangelist, but he’s out to Mickie, who had a hard time accepting the news and still thinks he might be able to turn things around with the right date. Their current professional dilemma is the demand of new client Rodrigo Gonzalez, a drug lord with unrealistic expectations. He thinks the lawyers should be able to get him out of jail and out of America even though he’s locked up on an iron-clad charge. Rodrigo’s sent his associate to explain to the pair that, should they fail their assignment, they will be dead men, and the associate has in turn sent a pair of thugs to illustrate the point. Only Mickie lost his temper before the thugs could show their stuff and beat one of the pair to a pulp, heightening the tension, already dangerously elevated as far as Junne is concerned. Their only hope is a line of defense made up by their shell-shocked law-school classmate, the class valedictorian who washed out of a white-shoe firm and lost his marbles and his wife.

Mildly amusing setup for what could be a pleasant series, from attorney-author Liebman (Shark Tales, 2000, etc.).

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 2007

ISBN: 978-1-4165-3527-0

Page Count: 288

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2007

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

A strict report, worthy of sympathy.


A violent surfacing of adolescence (which has little in common with Tarkington's earlier, broadly comic, Seventeen) has a compulsive impact.

"Nobody big except me" is the dream world of Holden Caulfield and his first person story is down to the basic, drab English of the pre-collegiate. For Holden is now being bounced from fancy prep, and, after a vicious evening with hall- and roommates, heads for New York to try to keep his latest failure from his parents. He tries to have a wild evening (all he does is pay the check), is terrorized by the hotel elevator man and his on-call whore, has a date with a girl he likes—and hates, sees his 10 year old sister, Phoebe. He also visits a sympathetic English teacher after trying on a drunken session, and when he keeps his date with Phoebe, who turns up with her suitcase to join him on his flight, he heads home to a hospital siege. This is tender and true, and impossible, in its picture of the old hells of young boys, the lonesomeness and tentative attempts to be mature and secure, the awful block between youth and being grown-up, the fright and sickness that humans and their behavior cause the challenging, the dramatization of the big bang. It is a sorry little worm's view of the off-beat of adult pressure, of contemporary strictures and conformity, of sentiment….

A strict report, worthy of sympathy.

Pub Date: June 15, 1951

ISBN: 0316769177

Page Count: -

Publisher: Little, Brown

Review Posted Online: Nov. 2, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 1951

Did you like this book?

Shalvis’ latest retains her spark and sizzle.


Piper Manning is determined to sell her family’s property so she can leave her hometown behind, but when her siblings come back with life-changing secrets and her sexy neighbor begins to feel like “The One,” she might have to redo her to-do list.

As children, Piper and her younger siblings, Gavin and Winnie, were sent to live with their grandparents in Wildstone, California, from the Congo after one of Gavin’s friends was killed. Their parents were supposed to meet them later but never made it. Piper wound up being more of a parent than her grandparents, though: “In the end, Piper had done all the raising. It’d taken forever, but now, finally, her brother and sister were off living their own lives.” Piper, the queen of the bullet journal, plans to fix up the family’s lakeside property her grandparents left the three siblings when they died. Selling it will enable her to study to be a physician’s assistant as she’s always wanted. However, just as the goal seems in sight, Gavin and Winnie come home, ostensibly for Piper’s 30th birthday, and then never leave. Turns out, Piper’s brother and sister have recently managed to get into a couple buckets of trouble, and they need some time to reevaluate their options. They aren’t willing to share their problems with Piper, though they’ve been completely open with each other. And Winnie, who’s pregnant, has been very open with Piper’s neighbor Emmitt Reid and his visiting son, Camden, since the baby’s father is Cam’s younger brother, Rowan, who died a few months earlier in a car accident. Everyone has issues to navigate, made more complicated by Gavin and Winnie’s swearing Cam to secrecy just as he and Piper try—and fail—to ignore their attraction to each other. Shalvis keeps the physical and emotional tension high, though the siblings’ refusal to share with Piper becomes tedious and starts to feel childish.

Shalvis’ latest retains her spark and sizzle.

Pub Date: Jan. 28, 2020

ISBN: 978-0-06-296139-6

Page Count: 384

Publisher: Morrow/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: Oct. 28, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 15, 2019

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet