HELIUS LEGACY

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A sensational cat-and-mouse debut thriller from O’Keefe involving the last potential heir to one of the richest oil fields in the world—and the ruthless conglomerate that wants to take him out.

Reporter Richard Steinman discovers an ancient deed in Austin, Texas, that contains a covenant giving the grantor’s descendants the right to reclaim ownership of the property if any future owner violates its restriction against the extraction of mineral wealth from the land. It just so happens that the land the deed covers is one of the richest oil fields in the world, and Helius Energy, the conglomerate that owns it, has no intention of giving up its gold mine to potential heirs. Steinman is soon on the run from a hired team of killers, while a second team descends on California to wipe out the last surviving heir, John Caine. Caine is unaware of his legacy but is quickly drawn into this nightmarish web in a race to stay alive and unravel the mystery that has put him in danger. His one link in the case is beautiful female attorney Andrea Marenna, who was unwittingly involved through her friendship with Steinman. Caine and Marenna desperately try to piece together the centuries-old puzzle as they struggle to outrun a sophisticated team of assassins whose mission is to permanently silence them. Helius Legacy is a first-rate action/adventure thriller that grips the imagination from page one and takes readers on a roller coaster ride with its many twists, remaining exciting and surprising to the last. Caine proves not to be the “soft target” the killers expected, but a formidable adversary with his own secrets, including his involvement in a covert operations unit in the French Foreign Legion. While often reaching deliciously larger-than-life proportions, O’Keefe’s plot is so well-crafted that it always remains plausible, and his experience as an attorney gives authority and credibility to the legalities.  Ultimately not just a great page-turner—a damn good novel.

 

Pub Date: Sept. 2, 2011

ISBN: 978-1936909216

Page Count: 378

Publisher: Live Oak

Review Posted Online: Jan. 13, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 2012

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A LITTLE LIFE

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

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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. 21, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2015

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THE CATCHER IN THE RYE

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

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