by Samuel Marquis ‧ RELEASE DATE: Jan. 4, 2016
An entertaining thriller about a ruthless political assassination.
An FBI agent and an intrepid reporter uncover a vast right-wing conspiracy to gain control of the U.S. government.
Marquis (Blind Thrust, 2015, etc.) uses the perspectives of multiple characters to narrate a contemporary political thriller. As the novel opens, a female assassin known by her code name, Skyler, pulls off the ultimate coup: she shoots and kills the U.S. president-elect. Though she is bankrolled by an ultra-right-wing Christian organization called American Patriots (AMP) and its charismatic leader, Benjamin Locke, Skyler herself acts only out of self-interest—and a hatred of men, because she was abused by them for most of her life. But when she loses her heart, she must decide whether she’s willing to continue playing the game. Meanwhile, as AMP seeks to convince the new president, Republican Katherine Fowler, to carry out its own agenda now that she’s in the White House, FBI agent Ken Patton tries to solve the assassination case. When he runs into old flame Jennifer Odden, a journalist who is working undercover at AMP, the two decide to team up to figure out who is behind the killing and how far up the conspiracy goes. Soon, they find themselves targets as they race to bring the murderers to justice and stop them from killing again. Marquis has woven a tight plot with genuine suspense. At 495 pages, the book is a little on the long side. But the author for the most part propels the story forward as the protagonists work to uncover the truth. Skyler, a sexy but damaged female killer, reads a bit more like a male fantasy than a three-dimensional woman; she has too many lines like “there was no room left in her heart for love,” and her arc is the most predictable. Still, all the characters hold the reader’s attention as they dive further into danger. Marquis’ storytelling hits close to the zeitgeist—too close, in the case of his description of a shooting at a Planned Parenthood clinic in Colorado. Here’s hoping the rest of these plotlines stay confined to the page.An entertaining thriller about a ruthless political assassination.
Pub Date: Jan. 4, 2016
Page Count: 432
Publisher: Mount Sopris Publishing
Review Posted Online: Jan. 28, 2016
Review Program: Kirkus Indie
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by Hanya Yanagihara ‧ RELEASE DATE: March 10, 2015
The phrase “tour de force” could have been invented for this audacious novel.
Awards & Accolades
Best Books Of 2015
National Book Award Finalist
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
Page Count: 720
Review Posted Online: Dec. 21, 2014
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2015
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by Kristin Hannah ‧ RELEASE DATE: March 1, 2006
Wacky plot keeps the pages turning and enduring schmaltzy romantic sequences.
Sisters work together to solve a child-abandonment case.
Ellie and Julia Cates have never been close. Julia is shy and brainy; Ellie gets by on charm and looks. Their differences must be tossed aside when a traumatized young girl wanders in from the forest into their hometown in Washington. The sisters’ professional skills are put to the test. Julia is a world-renowned child psychologist who has lost her edge. She is reeling from a case that went publicly sour. Though she was cleared of all wrongdoing, Julia’s name was tarnished, forcing her to shutter her Beverly Hills practice. Ellie Barton is the local police chief in Rain Valley, who’s never faced a tougher case. This is her chance to prove she is more than just a fading homecoming queen, but a scarcity of clues and a reluctant victim make locating the girl’s parents nearly impossible. Ellie places an SOS call to her sister; she needs an expert to rehabilitate this wild-child who has been living outside of civilization for years. Confronted with her professional demons, Julia once again has the opportunity to display her talents and salvage her reputation. Hannah (The Things We Do for Love, 2004, etc.) is at her best when writing from the girl’s perspective. The feral wolf-child keeps the reader interested long after the other, transparent characters have grown tiresome. Hannah’s torturously over-written romance passages are stale, but there are surprises in store as the sisters set about unearthing Alice’s past and creating a home for her.Wacky plot keeps the pages turning and enduring schmaltzy romantic sequences.
Pub Date: March 1, 2006
Page Count: 400
Review Posted Online: June 24, 2010
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2005
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