HELIUS LEGACY

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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The best-selling author of tearjerkers like Angel Falls (2000) serves up yet another mountain of mush, topped off with...

SUMMER ISLAND

Talk-show queen takes tumble as millions jeer.

Nora Bridges is a wildly popular radio spokesperson for family-first virtues, but her loyal listeners don't know that she walked out on her husband and teenaged daughters years ago and didn't look back. Now that a former lover has sold racy pix of naked Nora and horny himself to a national tabloid, her estranged daughter Ruby, an unsuccessful stand-up comic in Los Angeles, has been approached to pen a tell-all. Greedy for the fat fee she's been promised, Ruby agrees and heads for the San Juan Islands, eager to get reacquainted with the mom she plans to betray. Once in the family homestead, nasty Ruby alternately sulks and glares at her mother, who is temporarily wheelchair-bound as a result of a post-scandal car crash. Uncaring, Ruby begins writing her side of the story when she's not strolling on the beach with former sweetheart Dean Sloan, the son of wealthy socialites who basically ignored him and his gay brother Eric. Eric, now dying of cancer and also in a wheelchair, has returned to the island. This dismal threesome catch up on old times, recalling their childhood idylls on the island. After Ruby's perfect big sister Caroline shows up, there's another round of heartfelt talk. Nora gradually reveals the truth about her unloving husband and her late father's alcoholism, which led her to seek the approval of others at the cost of her own peace of mind. And so on. Ruby is aghast to discover that she doesn't know everything after all, but Dean offers her subdued comfort. Happy endings await almost everyone—except for readers of this nobly preachy snifflefest.

The best-selling author of tearjerkers like Angel Falls (2000) serves up yet another mountain of mush, topped off with syrupy platitudes about life and love.

Pub Date: March 1, 2001

ISBN: 0-609-60737-5

Page Count: 336

Publisher: Crown

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2001

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TRUE BETRAYALS

Thoroughbreds and Virginia blue-bloods cavort, commit murder, and fall in love in Roberts's (Hidden Riches, 1994, etc.) latest romantic thriller — this one set in the world of championship horse racing. Rich, sheltered Kelsey Byden is recovering from a recent divorce when she receives a letter from her mother, Naomi, a woman she has believed dead for over 20 years. When Kelsey confronts her genteel English professor father, though, he sheepishly confesses that, no, her mother isn't dead; throughout Kelsey's childhood, she was doing time for the murder of her lover. Kelsey meets with Naomi and not only finds her quite charming, but the owner of Three Willows, one of the most splendid horse farms in Virginia. Kelsey is further intrigued when she meets Gabe Slater, a blue-eyed gambling man who owns a neighboring horse farm; when one of Gabe's horses is mated with Naomi's, nostrils flare, flanks quiver, and the romance is on. Since both Naomi and Gabe have horses entered in the Kentucky Derby, Kelsey is soon swept into the whirlwind of the Triple Crown, in spite of her family's objections to her reconciliation with the notorious Naomi. The rivalry between the two horse farms remains friendly, but other competitors — one of them is Gabe's father, a vicious alcoholic who resents his son's success — prove less scrupulous. Bodies, horse and human, start piling up, just as Kelsey decides to investigate the murky details of her mother's crime. Is it possible she was framed? The ground is thick with no-goods, including haughty patricians, disgruntled grooms, and jockeys with tragic pasts, but despite all the distractions, the identity of the true culprit behind the mayhem — past and present — remains fairly obvious. The plot lopes rather than races to the finish. Gambling metaphors abound, and sexual doings have a distinctly equine tone. But Roberts's style has a fresh, contemporary snap that gets the story past its own worst excesses.

Pub Date: June 13, 1995

ISBN: 0-399-14059-X

Page Count: 400

Publisher: Putnam

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 1995

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