Written by a man who spent 15 years flying Tomcats, and who has also served as a consultant on such films as The Hunt for...



A rousing debut tale about the jet-flying set in which heroism, high-tech expertise, and a warts-and-all look at the Navy get equal measure.

It’s that uneasy period post–Desert Storm—the US (under the UN banner) and Iraq continuing to view each other gimlet-eyed. Lieutenant Rick Reichert (“Punk” affectionately), an F-14 Tomcat pilot, is stationed in the northern Arabian Gulf, on the three-billion-dollar carrier Arrowslinger—“The Boat” in Navy parlance. And he’s disenchanted. He hates being separated from the woman he loves, particularly since he’s begun to sense that her willingness to play Penelope to his Ulysses is on the wane, distance taking its toll. Also, he distrusts and despises his Queeg-like skipper, Commander “Soup” Campbell, whose ambition is boundless and whose path to promotion is littered with the outmaneuvered, the exploited, and the more deserving. What Punk loves is the flying, and the fliers—the good people in his squadron—though embarrassing words to that effect would never cross his 25-year-old lips. After months of unproductive wariness and enervating stalemate, there’s suddenly an incident. Iraqi jets are in the sky, in the no-fly zone, and Punk and his squadron-mates are ordered to confront them. Sensing an opportunity for glory—the kind of grandstanding he’s become famous for—Commander Campbell preempts one of the junior pilots, disrupting the orderliness and efficiency of the mission. Once aloft, he quickly compounds his ineptitude, crashing his plane and almost causing the death of the RIO (radio intercept officer) flying with him. Punk, on the other hand, performs valiantly, but in one of those painful ironies that Carroll clearly regrets and just as clearly appreciates, Campbell’s career turns out to be disaster-proof.

Written by a man who spent 15 years flying Tomcats, and who has also served as a consultant on such films as The Hunt for Red October: a convincing, often amusing, surprisingly unflinching account of those who go up in the air in ships.

Pub Date: June 1, 2001

ISBN: 1-55750-236-6

Page Count: 235

Publisher: Naval Institute Press

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 2001

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A strict report, worthy of sympathy.


A violent surfacing of adolescence (which has little in common with Tarkington's earlier, broadly comic, Seventeen) has a compulsive impact.

"Nobody big except me" is the dream world of Holden Caulfield and his first person story is down to the basic, drab English of the pre-collegiate. For Holden is now being bounced from fancy prep, and, after a vicious evening with hall- and roommates, heads for New York to try to keep his latest failure from his parents. He tries to have a wild evening (all he does is pay the check), is terrorized by the hotel elevator man and his on-call whore, has a date with a girl he likes—and hates, sees his 10 year old sister, Phoebe. He also visits a sympathetic English teacher after trying on a drunken session, and when he keeps his date with Phoebe, who turns up with her suitcase to join him on his flight, he heads home to a hospital siege. This is tender and true, and impossible, in its picture of the old hells of young boys, the lonesomeness and tentative attempts to be mature and secure, the awful block between youth and being grown-up, the fright and sickness that humans and their behavior cause the challenging, the dramatization of the big bang. It is a sorry little worm's view of the off-beat of adult pressure, of contemporary strictures and conformity, of sentiment….

A strict report, worthy of sympathy.

Pub Date: June 15, 1951

ISBN: 0316769177

Page Count: -

Publisher: Little, Brown

Review Posted Online: Nov. 2, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 1951

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Shalvis’ latest retains her spark and sizzle.


Piper Manning is determined to sell her family’s property so she can leave her hometown behind, but when her siblings come back with life-changing secrets and her sexy neighbor begins to feel like “The One,” she might have to redo her to-do list.

As children, Piper and her younger siblings, Gavin and Winnie, were sent to live with their grandparents in Wildstone, California, from the Congo after one of Gavin’s friends was killed. Their parents were supposed to meet them later but never made it. Piper wound up being more of a parent than her grandparents, though: “In the end, Piper had done all the raising. It’d taken forever, but now, finally, her brother and sister were off living their own lives.” Piper, the queen of the bullet journal, plans to fix up the family’s lakeside property her grandparents left the three siblings when they died. Selling it will enable her to study to be a physician’s assistant as she’s always wanted. However, just as the goal seems in sight, Gavin and Winnie come home, ostensibly for Piper’s 30th birthday, and then never leave. Turns out, Piper’s brother and sister have recently managed to get into a couple buckets of trouble, and they need some time to reevaluate their options. They aren’t willing to share their problems with Piper, though they’ve been completely open with each other. And Winnie, who’s pregnant, has been very open with Piper’s neighbor Emmitt Reid and his visiting son, Camden, since the baby’s father is Cam’s younger brother, Rowan, who died a few months earlier in a car accident. Everyone has issues to navigate, made more complicated by Gavin and Winnie’s swearing Cam to secrecy just as he and Piper try—and fail—to ignore their attraction to each other. Shalvis keeps the physical and emotional tension high, though the siblings’ refusal to share with Piper becomes tedious and starts to feel childish.

Shalvis’ latest retains her spark and sizzle.

Pub Date: Jan. 28, 2020

ISBN: 978-0-06-296139-6

Page Count: 384

Publisher: Morrow/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: Oct. 28, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 15, 2019

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