by S.R. Claridge ‧ RELEASE DATE: Oct. 1, 2010
An enjoyable, sometimes convoluted mystery with an exemplary protagonist.
In this thriller, a Chicago pub owner learns of her murky past, which puts her and her loved ones in danger.
For the most part, 29-year-old Angel Martin is content with her uneventful life running Tetterbaum’s Pub. She endured heartbreak years ago when her fiance, Tony, broke off their engagement without explanation. It seems all she wants now is her no-strings relationship with Grayson and the occasional setup courtesy of her well-meaning, matchmaking Great Aunt Olga. But Angel’s involvement in a serious car accident changes everything, and not just because of the resultant injuries. The accident precedes intelligence that dangerous individuals have discovered her true identity, though Angel was unaware that her name wasn’t her real one. People close to her, from her employee Andrew to Olga, have been hiding things, namely that her past is tied to the heavy Mafia presence in the area. While information she gets is slow to come and often cryptic, it’s clear Angel is targeted by mobsters, hitmen, and, quite possibly, a corrupt cop. They believe she’s privy to the location of incriminating evidence, as it’s associated with her pub. Getting out alive will require a demanding task: finding someone trustworthy. In this series opener, Claridge (Divine Intervention, 2016, etc.) generates a hefty amount of suspense by providing only Angel’s perspective, which leaves readers equally surprised by plot turns and unexpected deaths. This twisty narrative further molds Angel into a tough but believable protagonist. For example, she can’t evade every thug accosting or abducting her, but she still manages to gradually piece together a puzzle: what specifically the much-desired evidence is. While the story is never outright confusing, a few details are vague, such as the reason Angel is only now at risk when apparently numerous people have known her true identity for quite some time. The author offsets the mob-related action with lighthearted moments courtesy of Olga, who partakes in a daily glass of Jack Daniel’s and sports a discernible raspy voice.An enjoyable, sometimes convoluted mystery with an exemplary protagonist.
Pub Date: Oct. 1, 2010
Page Count: 300
Publisher: Global Publishing Group LLC
Review Posted Online: Oct. 24, 2018
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 Harper Lee ‧ RELEASE DATE: July 11, 1960
A first novel, this is also a first person account of Scout's (Jean Louise) recall of the years that led to the ending of a mystery, the breaking of her brother Jem's elbow, the death of her father's enemy — and the close of childhood years. A widower, Atticus raises his children with legal dispassion and paternal intelligence, and is ably abetted by Calpurnia, the colored cook, while the Alabama town of Maycomb, in the 1930's, remains aloof to their divergence from its tribal patterns. Scout and Jem, with their summer-time companion, Dill, find their paths free from interference — but not from dangers; their curiosity about the imprisoned Boo, whose miserable past is incorporated in their play, results in a tentative friendliness; their fears of Atticus' lack of distinction is dissipated when he shoots a mad dog; his defense of a Negro accused of raping a white girl, Mayella Ewell, is followed with avid interest and turns the rabble whites against him. Scout is the means of averting an attack on Atticus but when he loses the case it is Boo who saves Jem and Scout by killing Mayella's father when he attempts to murder them. The shadows of a beginning for black-white understanding, the persistent fight that Scout carries on against school, Jem's emergence into adulthood, Calpurnia's quiet power, and all the incidents touching on the children's "growing outward" have an attractive starchiness that keeps this southern picture pert and provocative. There is much advance interest in this book; it has been selected by the Literary Guild and Reader's Digest; it should win many friends.
Pub Date: July 11, 1960
Page Count: 323
Review Posted Online: Oct. 7, 2011
Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 1960
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