A memorable and affecting collection of addictively mournful lyrics.



Browne (Zephyr, 2010, etc.) makes sense of an ending world in this new collection of poems, which won the 2019 Catamaran Poetry Prize.

Climate anxiety is a motif in the new book by Browne. In the first poem, “Augury,” she ruefully admits, “I can hardly believe we still have weather. / Today, this headline: / Places to Visit Before They Disappear. / Some billionaire will build a wall / around one of those doomed venues and sink / a dozen underground bunkers adorned / with gold and marble fixtures.” The despair over the changing world is in some ways an outward manifestation of the traumas in her own life, however: grief, strained relationships, failed loves. “We’d met in a bar in San Francisco—” she writes in a poem about a romantic encounter gone awry. “I was often in a bar in those days, / as if love lived there. // My father was an alcoholic / and my mother had just died, / and looking back at who I was then, // I realize I was crazy from grief.” The book is full of surreal imagery, humorous for the matter-of-fact manner in which Browne reports them but resonant nonetheless. In one poem, she walks past a man urinating on a Valentine’s Day window display. In another, she admits to shouting advice to a cocaine-addled character on the Netflix show Bloodlines. The tragicomic nature of loneliness is found in “Home,” a partial ode to an old basement apartment: “Occasionally, a sort of boyfriend sailed by / with wilted roses, the discount tag still glued // to the cellophane, in gratitude for the expensive / dinner I’d bought him because // he’d forgotten his wallet again, and because / I’d helped him realize he really did want to be // a monk.” Browne manages to communicate the rawness and vulnerability of life while never losing her surgical control of the language. The poems blow through the pages like passing storms, shocking the reader with their momentary intensity before disappearing on the wind. “Don’t worry,” she writes in a late and powerful poem, “the seizure of feeling / has passed, and I won’t mention autumn // or longing like the breeze lifting / the edges of the clouds and rolling them up // to disappear into infinity’s storage unit.” The reader reaches the end with a feeling of having survived a season of truly startling weather.

A memorable and affecting collection of addictively mournful lyrics.

Pub Date: Sept. 30, 2019

ISBN: 978-0-578-57380-9

Page Count: -

Publisher: Catamaran

Review Posted Online: March 2, 2020

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Now that Coben’s added politics to his heady brew, expect sex and religion to join the mix.

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Coben’s latest darkest-suburbs thriller sets a decidedly offbeat detective on the trail of a crime with overtones unmistakably redolent of once and future presidential elections.

Wilde is called Wilde because nobody’s known his real name from the moment a pair of hikers found him foraging for himself in Ramapo Mountain State Forest 24 years ago. Now over 40, he’s had experience as both a lost boy and a private investigator. That makes him an obvious person to help when his godson, Sweet Water High School student Matthew Crimstein, expresses concern to his grandmother, attorney Hester Crimstein, that his bullied classmate Naomi Pine has gone missing. Matthew doesn’t really want anyone to help. He doesn’t even want anyone to notice his agitation. But Hester, taking the time from her criminal defense of financial consultant Simon Greene (Run Away, 2019) to worm the details out of him, asks Wilde to lend a hand, and sure enough, Wilde, unearthing an unsavory backstory that links Naomi to bullying classmate Crash Maynard, whose TV producer father, Dash Maynard, is close friends with reality TV star–turned–presidential hopeful Rusty Eggers, finds Naomi hale and hearty. Everything’s hunky-dory for one week, and then she disappears again. And this time, so does Crash after a brief visit to Matthew in which he tearfully confesses his guilt about the bad stuff he did to Naomi. This second disappearance veers into more obviously criminal territory with the arrival of a ransom note that demands, not money, but the allegedly incriminating videotapes of Rusty Eggers that Dash and Delia Maynard have had squirreled away for 30 years. The tapes link Rusty to a forgotten and forgettable homicide and add a paranoid new ripped-from-the-headlines dimension to the author’s formidable range. Readers who can tune out all the subplots will find the kidnappers easy to spot, but Coben finds room for three climactic surprises, one of them a honey.

Now that Coben’s added politics to his heady brew, expect sex and religion to join the mix.

Pub Date: March 17, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-5387-4814-5

Page Count: 432

Publisher: Grand Central Publishing

Review Posted Online: Dec. 23, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2020

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Dark and unsettling, this novel’s end arrives abruptly even as readers are still moving at a breakneck speed.


Ten years after her teenage daughter went missing, a mother begins a new relationship only to discover she can't truly move on until she answers lingering questions about the past.

Laurel Mack’s life stopped in many ways the day her 15-year-old daughter, Ellie, left the house to study at the library and never returned. She drifted away from her other two children, Hanna and Jake, and eventually she and her husband, Paul, divorced. Ten years later, Ellie’s remains and her backpack are found, though the police are unable to determine the reasons for her disappearance and death. After Ellie’s funeral, Laurel begins a relationship with Floyd, a man she meets in a cafe. She's disarmed by Floyd’s charm, but when she meets his young daughter, Poppy, Laurel is startled by her resemblance to Ellie. As the novel progresses, Laurel becomes increasingly determined to learn what happened to Ellie, especially after discovering an odd connection between Poppy’s mother and her daughter even as her relationship with Floyd is becoming more serious. Jewell’s (I Found You, 2017, etc.) latest thriller moves at a brisk pace even as she plays with narrative structure: The book is split into three sections, including a first one which alternates chapters between the time of Ellie’s disappearance and the present and a second section that begins as Laurel and Floyd meet. Both of these sections primarily focus on Laurel. In the third section, Jewell alternates narrators and moments in time: The narrator switches to alternating first-person points of view (told by Poppy’s mother and Floyd) interspersed with third-person narration of Ellie’s experiences and Laurel’s discoveries in the present. All of these devices serve to build palpable tension, but the structure also contributes to how deeply disturbing the story becomes. At times, the characters and the emotional core of the events are almost obscured by such quick maneuvering through the weighty plot.

Dark and unsettling, this novel’s end arrives abruptly even as readers are still moving at a breakneck speed.

Pub Date: April 24, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-5011-5464-5

Page Count: 368

Publisher: Atria

Review Posted Online: Feb. 6, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 2018

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