A gleefully convoluted tapestry of subplots that will have conspiracy theorists reading it a second time.


An Aussie gets caught up in a global conspiracy after he becomes a suspect in a political assassination in Wolfson’s debut dystopian thriller.

John Frankston is a political adviser at Australia’s Parliament House in 2027, after rising oceans led to the devastating Great Global Flood. When John stumbles upon the cryptic email of his friend, politician Frank Tsoukalos, he’s apparently seen too much. Soon, Frank is dead, and John’s on the run, accused of murder. He’s quickly captured by tERROR (“The Earth’s Representatives for Revegetation, Order and Restoration”), an ecoterrorist faction responsible for worldwide assassinations and bombings. But tERROR leader Jenny Fitzgerald tells John that he should truly fear a powerful, secret organization called Them, which may have ties to Clive, a Canadian whose accurate predictions of global catastrophes ignited a new, immensely popular religion, Delugion. John teams up with armed tERROR members, including former Israeli Defence Force officer Karen Blackstone. Despite this fact, however, the book contains very little action. There aren’t, for example, any significant gunfights or massive car chase sequences. What the book does have, though, is an endlessly enjoyable conspiracy. There’s a good deal of back story: Karen, along with a man named James Thomas, were discredited as scientists by Them, and there may be more to a Paris bombing for which Jenny is allegedly responsible. There’s also elucidation from political figures who may be involved with Them, which sheds light on the group’s origins. Wolfson augments his plot with intrigue, including distrust within tERROR and a mysterious man called The Guest, who seems to be spearheading Them. There are so many secrets among the characters that Wolfson easily avoids the soapbox by presenting immoral followers of both religion and science. The final act has enough twists to leave many readers dizzy. Despite John’s hasty assertion that “The pieces were starting to fall together,” only some of them do, leaving at least a couple of issues unanswered for a possible sequel.

A gleefully convoluted tapestry of subplots that will have conspiracy theorists reading it a second time.

Pub Date: N/A


Page Count: -

Publisher: Dog Ear Publisher

Review Posted Online: Aug. 7, 2015

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The years pass by at a fast and steamy clip in Blume’s latest adult novel (Wifey, not reviewed; Smart Women, 1984) as two friends find loyalties and affections tested as they grow into young women. In sixth grade, when Victoria Weaver is asked by new girl Caitlin Somers to spend the summer with her on Martha’s Vineyard, her life changes forever. Victoria, or more commonly Vix, lives in a small house; her brother has muscular dystrophy; her mother is unhappy, and money is scarce. Caitlin, on the other hand, lives part of the year with her wealthy mother Phoebe, who’s just moved to Albuquerque, and summers with her father Lamb, equally affluent, on the Vineyard. The story of how this casual invitation turns the two girls into what they call "Summer sisters" is prefaced with a prologue in which Vix is asked by Caitlin to be her matron of honor. The years in between are related in brief segments by numerous characters, but mostly by Vix. Caitlin, determined never to be ordinary, is always testing the limits, and in adolescence falls hard for Von, an older construction worker, while Vix falls for his friend Bru. Blume knows the way kids and teens speak, but her two female leads are less credible as they reach adulthood. After high school, Caitlin travels the world and can’t understand why Vix, by now at Harvard on a scholarship and determined to have a better life than her mother has had, won’t drop out and join her. Though the wedding briefly revives Vix’s old feelings for Bru, whom Caitlin is marrying, Vix is soon in love with Gus, another old summer friend, and a more compatible match. But Caitlin, whose own demons have been hinted at, will not be so lucky. The dark and light sides of friendship breathlessly explored in a novel best saved for summer beachside reading.

Pub Date: May 8, 1998

ISBN: 0-385-32405-7

Page Count: 336

Publisher: Delacorte

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 1998

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A flabby, fervid melodrama of a high-strung Southern family from Conroy (The Great Santini, The Lords of Discipline), whose penchant for overwriting once again obscures a genuine talent. Tom Wingo is an unemployed South Carolinian football coach whose internist wife is having an affair with a pompous cardiac man. When he hears that his fierce, beautiful twin sister Savannah, a well-known New York poet, has once again attempted suicide, he escapes his present emasculation by flying north to meet Savannah's comely psychiatrist, Susan Lowenstein. Savannah, it turns out, is catatonic, and before the suicide attempt had completely assumed the identity of a dead friend—the implication being that she couldn't stand being a Wingo anymore. Susan (a shrink with a lot of time on her hands) says to Tom, "Will you stay in New York and tell me all you know?" and he does, for nearly 600 mostly-bloated pages of flashbacks depicting The Family Wingo of swampy Colleton County: a beautiful mother, a brutal shrimper father (the Great Santini alive and kicking), and Tom and Savannah's much-admired older brother, Luke. There are enough traumas here to fall an average-sized mental ward, but the biggie centers around Luke, who uses the skills learned as a Navy SEAL in Vietnam to fight a guerrilla war against the installation of a nuclear power plant in Colleton and is killed by the authorities. It's his death that precipitates the nervous breakdown that costs Tom his job, and Savannah, almost, her life. There may be a barely-glimpsed smaller novel buried in all this succotash (Tom's marriage and life as a football coach), but it's sadly overwhelmed by the book's clumsy central narrative device (flashback ad infinitum) and Conroy's pretentious prose style: ""There are no verdicts to childhood, only consequences, and the bright freight of memory. I speak now of the sun-struck, deeply lived-in days of my past.

Pub Date: Oct. 21, 1986

ISBN: 0553381547

Page Count: 686

Publisher: Houghton Mifflin

Review Posted Online: Oct. 30, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 1986

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