Brilliantly imagined and terrifyingly believable. Seems destined to be a blockbuster.

THE DISPLACEMENTS

When the world’s first Category 6 storm destroys Miami and Houston, a FEMA megashelter in Oklahoma becomes part of the setting for the harsh aftermath, measured in unraveling lives.

“Twenty-four hours ago I was a wealthy surgeon’s wife leaving my huge house with three kids and a dog in a hybrid SUV. Now I’m a sweating, penniless refugee dragging a wheelie bag up a rural road.” In the lingo of Holsinger’s ambitious novel, former rich White lady and sculptor Daphne Larsen-Hall is now an IDP, an Internally Displaced Person—aka a Luna, for the hurricane that created a whole new class of Americans, numbering in the millions. Luna “strikes Miami as if beating on some mountain-size drum....She moves like a drunken butcher, flaying skyscrapers, eviscerating offices and conference rooms and lobbies....The guts of civilization swarm and fly: desks, chairs, tables, carpets, lights, plants, computers, printers, books, and papers by the billions, landing in the rivered streets, pulped through the sewer channels, chewed by the winds.” Holsinger's lush writing about the storm is complemented by “The Great Displacement: A Digital Chronicle of the Luna Migration,” an interactive website including interview transcripts, maps, and charts, displayed here as screenshots. For example, one survivor, now a Ph.D. in critical disaster studies, reports, “Doesn’t surprise me that what finally focused the nation’s attention on the megashelters was that spectacle in Oklahoma, what went down at Tooley Farm. There you had a perfect storm of climate change, displacement, extremism, and racial difference swirling around these white bodies at the center of it all, the big pale eye of the storm.” Interspersed with these reports are chapters telling Daphne’s story as well as those of her three difficult children (her teenage stepson, Gavin, maliciously leaves her purse in the driveway when they flee); the African American woman who runs Tooley Farm for FEMA; the drug dealer/insurance agent who is there to squeeze every penny he can get out of the refugees; and his sidekick/girlfriend, a guitar player who starts the cover band that gives the book its title. From Range, a complicated street game all the children are playing, to wildfire, the opiate many of their parents are getting addicted to, Holsinger's storm of invented detail is Category 6.

Brilliantly imagined and terrifyingly believable. Seems destined to be a blockbuster.

Pub Date: July 5, 2022

ISBN: 978-0-593-18971-9

Page Count: 448

Publisher: Riverhead

Review Posted Online: April 27, 2022

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15, 2022

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A smart summer escape.

PORTRAIT OF AN UNKNOWN WOMAN

Silva’s latest Gabriel Allon novel is a bit of a throwback—in the best possible way.

One-time assassin and legendary spymaster Gabriel Allon has finally retired. After saying farewell to his friends and colleagues in Israel, he moves with his wife, Chiara, and their two young children to a piano nobile overlooking Venice’s Grand Canal. His plan is to return to the workshop where he learned to restore paintings as an employee—but only after he spends several weeks recovering from the bullet wound that left him dead for several minutes in The Cellist (2021). Of course, no one expects Gabriel to entirely withdraw from the field, and, sure enough, a call from his friend and occasional asset Julian Isherwood sends him racing around the globe on the trail of art forgers who are willing to kill to protect their extremely lucrative enterprise. Silva provides plenty of thrills and, as usual, offers a glimpse into the lifestyles of the outrageously wealthy. In the early books in this series, it was Gabriel’s work as an art restorer that set him apart from other action heroes, and his return to that world is the most rewarding part of this installment. It is true that, at this point in his storied career, Gabriel has become a nearly mythic figure. And Silva is counting on a lot of love—and willing suspension of disbelief—when Gabriel whips up four old master canvases that fool the world’s leading art experts as a lure for the syndicate selling fake paintings. That said, as Silva explains in an author’s note, the art market is rife with secrecy, subterfuge, and wishful thinking, in no small part because it is almost entirely unregulated. And, if anyone can crank out a Titian, a Tintoretto, a Gentileschi, and a Veronese in a matter of days, it’s Gabriel Allon. The author’s longtime fans may breathe a sigh of relief that this entry is relatively free of politics and the pandemic is nowhere in sight.

A smart summer escape.

Pub Date: July 19, 2022

ISBN: 978-0-06-283485-0

Page Count: 448

Publisher: Harper

Review Posted Online: July 19, 2022

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2022

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Delightfully readable fiction, but the mystery disappoints.

THE IT GIRL

Ten years after having discovered her Oxford roommate’s dead body in front of the fireplace in their room, a young woman struggles with the realization that she may have helped send the wrong man to prison.

Hannah Jones arrives at Oxford hardly believing that she’s been accepted into this haven of learning and wealth. Sharing a picturesque set of rooms with the flamboyant and beautiful April Clarke-Cliveden, she divides her time between rigorous studying and energetic socializing with Emily Lippmana, Ryan Coates, Hugh Bland, and Will de Chastaigne, with whom she shares an attraction even though he's April’s boyfriend. It’s a good life except for the increasingly creepy interactions she has with John Neville, one of the porters. When Hannah finds April dead one night just after she’s seen Neville coming down the stairs from their rooms, it’s her testimony that puts him in jail. Ware divides the novel into alternating “before” and “after” chapters, with the narrative of Hannah’s college experience unfolding parallel to the events of her life nearly a decade later, when she’s married to Will and pregnant with their first child. Then Neville dies in prison and Hannah hears from a reporter who thinks he might actually have been innocent. Hannah begins to wonder herself, and she plunges back into the past to see if she can figure out what really happened that night. As usual with Ware, the novel is well crafted—the setting, characters, and dialogue are all engaging—but it lacks the author's signature sense of urgent and imminent threat. The novel unfolds smoothly, providing a few twists and turns, as the reader might expect, but not really delivering any true suspense. It also lacks the contrast between a luxurious background and the characters’ fears that Ware has often played to great effect. She does offer a deeper dive into the trauma of the survivors than she usually does, but this isn't the breathless page-turner one has come to expect from Ware.

Delightfully readable fiction, but the mystery disappoints.

Pub Date: July 12, 2022

ISBN: 978-1-9821-5526-1

Page Count: 432

Publisher: Gallery Books/Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: April 22, 2022

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15, 2022

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