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THE FOSSILARCHY

A gripping and timely environmental tale with a combustible mix of deadly elements.

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A wealthy businessman assembles a specialized team to ruthlessly take on an industry believed to endanger the health of the planet.

In Clark’s climate change thriller, Wolfgang Dreiser invites other members of the mega-rich to secretly fund drastic, violent action against the fossil fuel industry to save “the world in the time we have left.” The affluent visitors to Dreiser’s Swiss mansion only need to provide an “eye-watering” amount of financing. The execution of the plan, code-named Operation Phoenix, is “tasked to military strategists and operatives.” Australia, “soon to be the biggest coal exporter,” is a key target. Divorced Londoner Alex Burns, a former member of Her Majesty’s Special Air Service who still passes “the ‘tall, dark and handsome’ test,” gets recruited to lead the sabotage operations of Australia’s production and supply chain of coal. Emma Johnson, another devotee to the cause, whose lover David Mallon died from injuries inflicted in an anti-coal protest, battles the industry with David’s father, Sean, a Northern Ireland transplant. They work to bomb passengerless train cars coming from the mines. But based on the bombing techniques used, someone realizes whose handiwork it is, putting the mission and Sean—who has become a national folk hero, nicknamed “Ned Coaly” after the 1800s bushranger Ned Kelly—in danger unless Alex can intervene. In this engrossing novel, Clark, an Australian environmentalist and climate consultant for over 30 years, preaches to the choir, if the singers are climate change zealots. Long stretches of text decry the perils of climate change. Descriptions of the Australian landscape and surrounding waters are picture-perfect. The tension ebbs and flows throughout, and the characters, such as an aging former Irish Republican Army bomber now living Down Under, are original. But multimillionaire businessmen secretly and successfully financing a potentially deadly pro-climate escapade suggests a fantasy more than a thriller.

A gripping and timely environmental tale with a combustible mix of deadly elements.

Pub Date: March 7, 2022

ISBN: 978-1-922697-08-0

Page Count: 396

Publisher: Aurora House

Review Posted Online: Aug. 8, 2022

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1, 2022

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THE WOMEN

A dramatic, vividly detailed reconstruction of a little-known aspect of the Vietnam War.

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A young woman’s experience as a nurse in Vietnam casts a deep shadow over her life.

When we learn that the farewell party in the opening scene is for Frances “Frankie” McGrath’s older brother—“a golden boy, a wild child who could make the hardest heart soften”—who is leaving to serve in Vietnam in 1966, we feel pretty certain that poor Finley McGrath is marked for death. Still, it’s a surprise when the fateful doorbell rings less than 20 pages later. His death inspires his sister to enlist as an Army nurse, and this turn of events is just the beginning of a roller coaster of a plot that’s impressive and engrossing if at times a bit formulaic. Hannah renders the experiences of the young women who served in Vietnam in all-encompassing detail. The first half of the book, set in gore-drenched hospital wards, mildewed dorm rooms, and boozy officers’ clubs, is an exciting read, tracking the transformation of virginal, uptight Frankie into a crack surgical nurse and woman of the world. Her tensely platonic romance with a married surgeon ends when his broken, unbreathing body is airlifted out by helicopter; she throws her pent-up passion into a wild affair with a soldier who happens to be her dead brother’s best friend. In the second part of the book, after the war, Frankie seems to experience every possible bad break. A drawback of the story is that none of the secondary characters in her life are fully three-dimensional: Her dismissive, chauvinistic father and tight-lipped, pill-popping mother, her fellow nurses, and her various love interests are more plot devices than people. You’ll wish you could have gone to Vegas and placed a bet on the ending—while it’s against all the odds, you’ll see it coming from a mile away.

A dramatic, vividly detailed reconstruction of a little-known aspect of the Vietnam War.

Pub Date: Feb. 6, 2024

ISBN: 9781250178633

Page Count: 480

Publisher: St. Martin's

Review Posted Online: Nov. 4, 2023

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2023

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IT STARTS WITH US

Through palpable tension balanced with glimmers of hope, Hoover beautifully captures the heartbreak and joy of starting over.

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The sequel to It Ends With Us (2016) shows the aftermath of domestic violence through the eyes of a single mother.

Lily Bloom is still running a flower shop; her abusive ex-husband, Ryle Kincaid, is still a surgeon. But now they’re co-parenting a daughter, Emerson, who's almost a year old. Lily won’t send Emerson to her father’s house overnight until she’s old enough to talk—“So she can tell me if something happens”—but she doesn’t want to fight for full custody lest it become an expensive legal drama or, worse, a physical fight. When Lily runs into Atlas Corrigan, a childhood friend who also came from an abusive family, she hopes their friendship can blossom into love. (For new readers, their history unfolds in heartfelt diary entries that Lily addresses to Finding Nemo star Ellen DeGeneres as she considers how Atlas was a calming presence during her turbulent childhood.) Atlas, who is single and running a restaurant, feels the same way. But even though she’s divorced, Lily isn’t exactly free. Behind Ryle’s veneer of civility are his jealousy and resentment. Lily has to plan her dates carefully to avoid a confrontation. Meanwhile, Atlas’ mother returns with shocking news. In between, Lily and Atlas steal away for romantic moments that are even sweeter for their authenticity as Lily struggles with child care, breastfeeding, and running a business while trying to find time for herself.

Through palpable tension balanced with glimmers of hope, Hoover beautifully captures the heartbreak and joy of starting over.

Pub Date: Oct. 18, 2022

ISBN: 978-1-668-00122-6

Page Count: 352

Publisher: Atria

Review Posted Online: July 26, 2022

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2022

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