THE BOSS'S WIFE

The mildly dishonest chief of data processing at an L.A. megabank gets a new boss and learns how dishonest you can be if you really have imagination. Stebel (Spring Thaw, 1989, etc.), who genre hops, happily returns to thrillers. Contrary to the clichÇ of computer-whiz as techno-nerd, Jack Noble draws women like flies. Sadly for them, however, Noble's mind is usually on other things. Gambling, overambitious home-building plans, a father in a nursing home, and that pesky recession have reduced Noble and his dog Roger to living out of Jack's panel truck. His plans for a little fiddle with some ghostly, interest- bearing accounts at the bank where he supervises a bevy of data- entering beauties are about to pay off, but then, worse luck, his boss commits suicide and a team of auditors and the boss's replacement storm in, kicking Jack out while they look for electronic embezzlement. Then a cute-meet with the new boss's extraordinarily attractive young wife, an amazon who carries a briefcase full of unmarked currency, puts Jack on the trail of the people he thought were trailing him. It seems the boss's wife, if she is the boss's wife, is being blackmailed, having posed for some exceptionally embarrassing photos, and the boss, if he is still the boss, is working some fiddles of his own. A thoroughly confusing situation becomes thoroughly dangerous when Jack goes to the trunk of the boss's car and finds an attractive corpse. Before he has things sorted out, Jack will lose not only his girl but his trusty dog. There will also be shocking events in a Phoenix funeral parlor. Rather slapdash but rather funny.

Pub Date: July 1, 1992

ISBN: 0-8027-1198-7

Page Count: 240

Publisher: Walker

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 1992

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There are unforgettable beauties in this very sexy story.

TELL ME LIES

Passion, friendship, heartbreak, and forgiveness ring true in Lovering's debut, the tale of a young woman's obsession with a man who's "good at being charming."

Long Island native Lucy Albright, starts her freshman year at Baird College in Southern California, intending to study English and journalism and become a travel writer. Stephen DeMarco, an upperclassman, is a political science major who plans to become a lawyer. Soon after they meet, Lucy tells Stephen an intensely personal story about the Unforgivable Thing, a betrayal that turned Lucy against her mother. Stephen pretends to listen to Lucy's painful disclosure, but all his thoughts are about her exposed black bra strap and her nipples pressing against her thin cotton T-shirt. It doesn't take Lucy long to realize Stephen's a "manipulative jerk" and she is "beyond pathetic" in her desire for him, but their lives are now intertwined. Their story takes seven years to unfold, but it's a fast-paced ride through hookups, breakups, and infidelities fueled by alcohol and cocaine and with oodles of sizzling sexual tension. "Lucy was an itch, a song stuck in your head or a movie you need to rewatch or a food you suddenly crave," Stephen says in one of his point-of-view chapters, which alternate with Lucy's. The ending is perfect, as Lucy figures out the dark secret Stephen has kept hidden and learns the difference between lustful addiction and mature love.

There are unforgettable beauties in this very sexy story.

Pub Date: June 12, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-5011-6964-9

Page Count: 352

Publisher: Atria

Review Posted Online: March 20, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 2018

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

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A LITTLE LIFE

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. 22, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2015

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