Edward and Verity finally consummate their romance while Roberts continues his tedious study of WWII politics and morals.

DANGEROUS SEA

Communists, Nazis, lords, twins, and internationally famous entertainers share adjoining deck chairs aboard the New York–bound Queen Mary.

Also perambulating the first-class deck are left-leaning journalist Verity Browne, off to the New World to reconnoiter the worker’s movement, and her dear chum Lord Edward Corinth (Hollow Crown, 2003, etc.), on hand to safeguard Lord Benyon, an economist en route to secret meetings with Roosevelt. Barely a day out, another of Benyon’s minders is murdered—strung up like a side of beef in a food freezer—and the following day obnoxious, racist, sexist Senator Day, who seems to have blackmailed half the first-class sailors, is found dead at the bottom of the swimming pool. What’s next? A film star is nearly poached in a sauna and a mural painted by a semi-talented artist vandalized. But Benyon, looked after by Corinth’s valet Fenton and his nephew Frank, is faring splendidly except for a bout of seasickness. There are shipboard races, romances, costume parties, fine suppers in the Veranda Room, and, none too surprisingly, more than one murderer afoot for Corinth to deal with (Verity’s too busy falling in and out of love with a married labor organizer to be much help). By the time the ship docks, Edward will have decided to ignore one murderer’s handiwork.

Edward and Verity finally consummate their romance while Roberts continues his tedious study of WWII politics and morals.

Pub Date: Dec. 1, 2003

ISBN: 0-7867-1215-5

Page Count: 256

Publisher: N/A

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15, 2003

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More about grief and tragedy than romance.

FRIENDS FOREVER

Five friends meet on their first day of kindergarten at the exclusive Atwood School and remain lifelong friends through tragedy and triumph.

When Gabby, Billy, Izzie, Andy and Sean meet in the toy kitchen of the kindergarten classroom on their first day of school, no one can know how strong the group’s friendship will remain. Despite their different personalities and interests, the five grow up together and become even closer as they come into their own talents and life paths. But tragedy will strike and strike again. Family troubles, abusive parents, drugs, alcohol, stress, grief and even random bad luck will put pressure on each of them individually and as a group. Known for her emotional romances, Steel makes a bit of a departure with this effort that follows a group of friends through young adulthood. But even as one tragedy after another befalls the friends, the impact of the events is blunted by a distant narrative style that lacks emotional intensity. 

More about grief and tragedy than romance.

Pub Date: July 24, 2012

ISBN: 978-0-385-34321-3

Page Count: 322

Publisher: Delacorte

Review Posted Online: Nov. 14, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2012

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A kind of Holden Caulfield who speaks bravely and winningly from inside the sorrows of autism: wonderful, simple, easy,...

THE CURIOUS INCIDENT OF THE DOG IN THE NIGHT-TIME

Britisher Haddon debuts in the adult novel with the bittersweet tale of a 15-year-old autistic who’s also a math genius.

Christopher Boone has had some bad knocks: his mother has died (well, she went to the hospital and never came back), and soon after he found a neighbor’s dog on the front lawn, slain by a garden fork stuck through it. A teacher said that he should write something that he “would like to read himself”—and so he embarks on this book, a murder mystery that will reveal who killed Mrs. Shears’s dog. First off, though, is a night in jail for hitting the policeman who questions him about the dog (the cop made the mistake of grabbing the boy by the arm when he can’t stand to be touched—any more than he can stand the colors yellow or brown, or not knowing what’s going to happen next). Christopher’s father bails him out but forbids his doing any more “detecting” about the dog-murder. When Christopher disobeys (and writes about it in his book), a fight ensues and his father confiscates the book. In time, detective-Christopher finds it, along with certain other clues that reveal a very great deal indeed about his mother’s “death,” his father’s own part in it—and the murder of the dog. Calming himself by doing roots, cubes, prime numbers, and math problems in his head, Christopher runs away, braves a train-ride to London, and finds—his mother. How can this be? Read and see. Neither parent, if truth be told, is the least bit prepossessing or more than a cutout. Christopher, though, with pet rat Toby in his pocket and advanced “maths” in his head, is another matter indeed, and readers will cheer when, way precociously, he takes his A-level maths and does brilliantly.

A kind of Holden Caulfield who speaks bravely and winningly from inside the sorrows of autism: wonderful, simple, easy, moving, and likely to be a smash.

Pub Date: June 17, 2003

ISBN: 0-385-50945-6

Page Count: 224

Publisher: Doubleday

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 2003

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