Nearly a decade and a half after abducting teenager Lizzy Gardner, her captor is ready to seek revenge on the one who got away, in Ragan’s white-knuckled thriller,

When she was 16-years-old, Lizzy Gardner lied to her parents about spending the night with friends and snuck out with her boyfriend, Jared. When he dropped her off a block from her home, it was just too easy for the kidnapper to switch gears and take Lizzy instead of the Anderson girl. But after two months of torture, including being poisoned and burned, Lizzy escaped. At 30-years-old, she’s now a private investigator who spies on unfaithful spouses and teaches girls how to defend themselves. Jared is now an FBI agent and, after having not spoken to Lizzy since the abduction, he contacts her because the madman who took her is at it again—and he left a personal note for Lizzy with his latest victim. In James Patterson style, Ragan choreographs a tightly woven dance among a large cast who all have a connection to Spiderman, the moniker given to the killer because of his penchant for torturing victims with creepy crawlers. Ragan’s psychopath is on a mission to teach “bad” girls a lesson and punishes them according to their vice. With no shortage of plot swells, Lizzy and Jared, along with Sgt. Jimmy Martin and even Lizzy’s self-defense student, Hayley Hansen, are determined to rescue Spiderman’s latest victim, someone Lizzy would risk her life for. Even the killer’s own sister is looking for him and may hold the clue to his depravity, where slicing a pinky off a victim thrills him. Although the story boasts a couple of oddities, such as why Ragan chose similar names for her characters (Warner, Winters, Walker; Crawford, Crowley) and why nearly every character is on the verge of divorce, or divorced, the masterful storytelling and inventive plot trample these minor inconveniences. Lizzy is Hannibal Lechter’s Clarice, and although parallels to Silence of the Lambs abound, Ragan’s thriller stands on its own. The satisfyingly frightful episode of a calculating cutthroat.


Pub Date: May 29, 2011

ISBN: 978-1463717094

Page Count: 348

Publisher: CreateSpace

Review Posted Online: Jan. 19, 2012

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There are unforgettable beauties in this very sexy story.


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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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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