An elaborate but exhilarating mystery spotlighting an entirely capable heroine.

DANCING FOR THE GENERAL

An American teacher in 1957 Turkey becomes unwittingly entangled in murder and political unrest in this thriller.

When Anna Riddle gets a telegram from her brother-in-law pleading for help, she flies to Ankara, Turkey, without hesitation. She’s caring for her 8-year-old niece, Priscilla, while career diplomat Henry Burkhardt and Anna’s half sister, Mitzi, are on a Kenya safari. Watching Priscilla isn’t easy for childless Anna. But it turns altogether unnerving when the girl runs ahead at Atatürk’s Tomb and encounters a man Anna doesn’t know—who’s soon a gunshot victim. Bizarrely, the man’s gripping a letter Anna once wrote to her fiance, Rainer, presumed dead 12 years ago near the end of World War II. Detective Veli Yaziz is suspicious of Henry (the dead man wears one of the diplomat’s suits) and, by association, Anna. Yaziz’s boss, however, wants him to forgo the murder case in favor of thwarting an alleged plot against the Grand National Assembly. A discussion on that very scheme is what Meryem Alekci, a Romani, overhears while dancing at a retired general’s palace, putting her in danger. Anna, believing Rainer may be alive, is shocked by a potential second murder and a subsequent kidnapping. Star (Trouble in a Politically Correct Town, 2017, etc.) and Beatty’s (Hell Down Under, 2017, etc.) dense plot is rife with suspense, stemming primarily from Anna’s distrust of most people surrounding her. Even young Priscilla is dubious, since it’s clear she’s withholding information from her aunt. Anna’s motivation for investigating is plausible: she discovers further links to Rainer, as well as Henry and Mitzi, and catches quite a few lies from a range of culprits, including the authorities and the Burkhardts’ neighbors. Anna is also a resourceful protagonist who transcends individuals undermining her; Yaziz is certain she’s hiding something because she fails to become hysterical after seeing a body, “as he would expect most women to do.” Sharp perspectives from Anna, Meryem, and Yaziz make the myriad other characters alarmingly enigmatic and, as a result, any villains hard to define.

An elaborate but exhilarating mystery spotlighting an entirely capable heroine.

Pub Date: June 27, 2017

ISBN: 978-0-9893578-7-6

Page Count: 440

Publisher: D.M. Kreg Publishing

Review Posted Online: Aug. 15, 2017

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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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