Though there’s no time to linger over most of the rapidly sketched characters, White (The Program, 2001, etc.) runs the...


The suspense-filled curtain-raiser, the discovery of the Boulder District Attorney’s corpse, provides one of the few quiet moments in clinical psychologist Alan Gregory’s latest bomb-enriched thriller.

Until somebody bashed him to death while his bedridden wife lay helpless upstairs, Royal Peterson was the boss of Alan’s wife Lauren Crowder, who’s just about to come off maternity leave to resume her normal life as an ADA with multiple sclerosis when the news comes in. It’s followed by still more shocking news from Alan’s old friend, police detective Sam Purdy: The prime suspect is Sam’s partner Lucy Tanner, whose fingerprints have turned up on the murder weapon. In the meantime, however, Alan’s on the verge of the biggest shock of all. His new patient, unlikable Naomi Bigg, keeps hinting that her son, outraged at the slap on the wrist the criminal-justice system gave his sister Marin’s rapist and the heavy prison term meted out to his father when he tried to take the law into his own hands, has joined forces with his mysterious pal Ramp, still seeking revenge for his mother’s killing by a paroled murderer, to get back at all the functionaries who betrayed Marin Bigg and Denise Ramp. Could those functionaries have included Roy Peterson—and could they include Lauren herself? Alan’s got precious little time to consider the moral quiddities of breaking doctor-patient confidentiality to disclose the existence of a powerful new suspect in the Peterson case, because Ramp’s about to go ballistic with a series of explosions that will send the case screaming out of the mystery category into the trajectory of the greased-lightning thriller—until the disturbingly quiet coda that bookends the tale reveals the final nasty secret.

Though there’s no time to linger over most of the rapidly sketched characters, White (The Program, 2001, etc.) runs the whole gamut from whodunit to duck-and-cover.

Pub Date: Feb. 26, 2002

ISBN: 0-385-33618-7

Page Count: 419

Publisher: Delacorte

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15, 2001

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet



A modern day fable, with modern implications in a deceiving simplicity, by the author of Dickens. Dali and Others (Reynal & Hitchcock, p. 138), whose critical brilliance is well adapted to this type of satire. This tells of the revolt on a farm, against humans, when the pigs take over the intellectual superiority, training the horses, cows, sheep, etc., into acknowledging their greatness. The first hints come with the reading out of a pig who instigated the building of a windmill, so that the electric power would be theirs, the idea taken over by Napoleon who becomes topman with no maybes about it. Napoleon trains the young puppies to be his guards, dickers with humans, gradually instigates a reign of terror, and breaks the final commandment against any animal walking on two legs. The old faithful followers find themselves no better off for food and work than they were when man ruled them, learn their final disgrace when they see Napoleon and Squealer carousing with their enemies... A basic statement of the evils of dictatorship in that it not only corrupts the leaders, but deadens the intelligence and awareness of those led so that tyranny is inevitable. Mr. Orwell's animals exist in their own right, with a narrative as individual as it is apt in political parody.

Pub Date: Aug. 26, 1946

ISBN: 0452277507

Page Count: 114

Publisher: Harcourt, Brace

Review Posted Online: Nov. 2, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 1946

Did you like this book?

Doerr captures the sights and sounds of wartime and focuses, refreshingly, on the innate goodness of his major characters.

Our Verdict

  • Our Verdict
  • GET IT

Google Rating

  • google rating
  • google rating
  • google rating
  • google rating
  • google rating
  • Kirkus Reviews'
    Best Books Of 2014

  • New York Times Bestseller

  • National Book Award Finalist

  • Pulitzer Prize Winner


Doerr presents us with two intricate stories, both of which take place during World War II; late in the novel, inevitably, they intersect.

In August 1944, Marie-Laure LeBlanc is a blind 16-year-old living in the walled port city of Saint-Malo in Brittany and hoping to escape the effects of Allied bombing. D-Day took place two months earlier, and Cherbourg, Caen and Rennes have already been liberated. She’s taken refuge in this city with her great-uncle Etienne, at first a fairly frightening figure to her. Marie-Laure’s father was a locksmith and craftsman who made scale models of cities that Marie-Laure studied so she could travel around on her own. He also crafted clever and intricate boxes, within which treasures could be hidden. Parallel to the story of Marie-Laure we meet Werner and Jutta Pfennig, a brother and sister, both orphans who have been raised in the Children’s House outside Essen, in Germany. Through flashbacks we learn that Werner had been a curious and bright child who developed an obsession with radio transmitters and receivers, both in their infancies during this period. Eventually, Werner goes to a select technical school and then, at 18, into the Wehrmacht, where his technical aptitudes are recognized and he’s put on a team trying to track down illegal radio transmissions. Etienne and Marie-Laure are responsible for some of these transmissions, but Werner is intrigued since what she’s broadcasting is innocent—she shares her passion for Jules Verne by reading aloud 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea. A further subplot involves Marie-Laure’s father’s having hidden a valuable diamond, one being tracked down by Reinhold von Rumpel, a relentless German sergeant-major.

Doerr captures the sights and sounds of wartime and focuses, refreshingly, on the innate goodness of his major characters.

Pub Date: May 6, 2014

ISBN: 978-1-4767-4658-6

Page Count: 448

Publisher: Scribner

Review Posted Online: March 6, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2014

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet