RED STORM RISING

The author of the best-selling sub-chaser, The Hunt for Red October, launches a bigger confrontation: the USSR takes on NATO for a deadly bout of conventional warfare. Islamic extremists sabotage a major Siberian oil field, leaving the Soviet Union faced with years of fuel shortages. The hawkish Minister of Defense convinces the Politburo to take desperate action: Soviet forces will first neutralize NATO, then invade the Persian Gulf and seize control of its oil. To buy time for the troops to prepare, the Russians make a major arms-control initiative. But Bob Toland, an analyst for the National Security Agency, notices and reports unusual activity. Soon forces everywhere are on full alert. Teams of elite Red Army troops attack selected West German targets and a shooting war is on. A US base in Keflavik, Iceland, is shocked by a Soviet air and sea assault. The valuable post is lost, but not before a canny Air Force weatherman, Mike Edwards, and a small band of men escape and head for the barren Icelandic outback, where they radio reports of Soviet activity to satellite intelligence. The capture of Iceland not only cuts down on effective defense against subs, it also gives the Russians a handy launching spot for air raids on the convoys that are bringing supplies and soldiers across the Atlantic to Europe. Edward Morris, commander of the U.S.S. Pharris, defends the convoys and tracks shadowy subs until his ship is crippled. In Germany, tank battalions attack and counterattack. Skipper Dan McCafferty leads a pack of US subs deep into the Barents Sea, where they let loose a volley of missiles that hit bases within the Soviet Union itself. Finally, the Soviets, hard pressed, contemplate a "limited" nuclear attack, but several sane men manage to propel the crisis to a negotiated happy end. Clancy populates both armies with intelligent and likable men, arms them with astonishingly powerful weapons (for some, the virtuosity of these high-tech arms will be the book's greatest appeal), and succeeds in keeping the action crisp, absorbing The breadth of activity precludes the neat structure of suspense that distinguised Red October. But, still, an informative, readable, sometimes dazzling speculation on superpower war.

Pub Date: July 1, 1987

ISBN: 042510107X

Page Count: 637

Publisher: Putnam

Review Posted Online: Sept. 20, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 1986

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

THEN SHE WAS GONE

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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A strongly felt, if not terribly gripping, sendoff for a Turow favorite nearly 35 years after his appearance in Presumed...

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THE LAST TRIAL

Trying his final case at 85, celebrated criminal defense lawyer Sandy Stern defends a Nobel-winning doctor and longtime friend whose cancer wonder drug saved Stern's life but subsequently led to the deaths of others.

Federal prosecutors are charging the eminent doctor, Kiril Pafko, with murder, fraud, and insider trading. An Argentine émigré like Stern, Pafko is no angel. His counselor is certain he sold stock in the company that produced the drug, g-Livia, before users' deaths were reported. The 78-year-old Nobelist is a serial adulterer whose former and current lovers have strong ties to the case. Working for one final time alongside his daughter and proficient legal partner, Marta, who has announced she will close the firm and retire along with her father following the case, Stern must deal not only with "senior moments" before Chief Judge Sonya "Sonny" Klonsky, but also his physical frailty. While taking a deep dive into the ups and downs of a complicated big-time trial, Turow (Testimony, 2017, etc.) crafts a love letter to his profession through his elegiac appreciation of Stern, who has appeared in all his Kindle County novels. The grandly mannered attorney (his favorite response is "Just so") has dedicated himself to the law at great personal cost. But had he not spent so much of his life inside courtrooms, "He never would have known himself." With its bland prosecutors, frequent focus on technical details like "double-blind clinical trials," and lack of real surprises, the novel likely will disappoint some fans of legal thrillers. But this smoothly efficient book gains timely depth through its discussion of thorny moral issues raised by a drug that can extend a cancer sufferer's life expectancy at the risk of suddenly ending it.

A strongly felt, if not terribly gripping, sendoff for a Turow favorite nearly 35 years after his appearance in Presumed Innocent.

Pub Date: May 12, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-5387-4813-8

Page Count: 448

Publisher: Grand Central Publishing

Review Posted Online: Feb. 10, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2020

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