Posts Tagged ‘Kirkus Reviews’
Charlie’s in top form, and a scout from Manchester United has been keeping a close eye on him, but then his life is turned upside down by the death of his beloved grandfather. A hurried move, his family’s deep loss – and his soccer career stalled. Then Charlie discovers that his grandfather was a great soccer player who played in the mysterious soccer ground called The Legends’ Lair. Charlie sets his sights on organizing one more tournament there, but what old rivalries and buried tensions will he open?
“What O’Brien captures so well is the aura of the game. He handles with aplomb the sheer fun of playing a game with grace…A joyful approach to sports and a salute to the importance of understanding history.”–Kirkus Reviews***
“Charlie’s interactions with family and friends are universal. His family members are very supportive of his desire to immerse himself in soccer, and his closest friends are the ones on his teams.”–School Library Journal2016, 190 pages (O’Brien Press)
ISBN 978-1-84717-826-8 Paperback $13.00
Kirkus’ Indie Books of the Month Selection
In this narrative poem, Kirby the sneaky, dog-genius steals the hole Arlo dug in the yard and the social order begins to break down. Kirby faces grave, injurious peril in restoring cosmic harmony. In rhyming couplets he reflects on the hole’s eerie influence, he contemplates spider webs, Newton, The Old West, Scottish history, Templars, the Roundtable Knights, the existence of dragons, and the nature of time, itself. This nimbly written, playful poem will delight children of all ages, even the adult ones.
From Kirkus Indie Reviews:
“As told in rhyming couplets, when a sneaky dog steals a scrupulous dog’s hole, things fall apart, sparking philosophical reflections.
At the Burbles’ place, house 42, live “Kirby the Sneak and Arlo the True,” plus Kismet the Cat. Arlo is a clay-colored guard dog who keeps watch over the yard, which includes the hole he dug as a puppy. Kirby is a black-and-white collie “of a thousand disguises, unbeaten at Clue, // Dogma Cum Laude from Trickery U,” so he devises an elaborate plan to steal Arlo’s hole. He fills it in, runs off with the hole in his mouth, and puts it in neighbor Mr. McCornchowder’s yard, making a quick escape. Somehow this alters the balance of nature: “The earthyworms’ dirts had turned hard as a rock, / And the dragonfly’s motor was starting to knock,” for example. Kismet the Wise, however, orders Kirby to “get the hole back.” With some difficulty and a little damage to himself, Kirby does so, and all returns to normal. Kirby sits down to think it over, with wide-ranging philosophical musing on the nature of holes, points, circles, physics, time, webs, and more. Both dogs find themselves reflecting on family history and tradition: Arlo’s of fidelity and Kirby’s of sneakiness and sheepherding, counterpointed with the backdrop of a perfect summer afternoon. The end of Kirby’s exploring is his grand theory, “The Downhole Effect.” Williamson (A Most Marvelous Piece of Luck, 2008, etc.), a much-published poet, seems unable to write a dull line. His lists are a special delight, as when Kirby assembles his hole-recovery gear: “One snow axe, two snorkels, a hollow point spear // A vanishing hand cream called U D’sappear,” and so on. His images are fresh and striking: an American dog with “the patience of mesas”; “the Spirograph seeds in the sunflower’s swirl.” This might resemble a children’s book, with its rhyming couplets, animal heroes, and amusing line drawings, but adults will likely better appreciate its zinging verbal wit, clever rhymes, and learned allusions.
Brilliantly comic, pleasingly discursive, admirably dexterous, this narrative poem is a tour de force.”2016, 120 pages (Waywiser Press)
ISBN 978-1-904130-83-3 Paperback $20.00
Ella has a difficult relationship with her domineering father, and with apartheid South Africa, the troubled country in which she lives. Whilst seeking political refuge in Europe Ella makes an unexpected discovery that forces her to confront both her father’s ghosts and the shape of her own future. In the Netherlands, the country of his birth, her father, Ella finds, never officially recognized her existence.
“Boehmer creates a microcosm of apartheid South Africa, telling the story of one girl growing up in the shadows of her family’s past. . .The descriptions of the landscape are breathtaking, invoking the vastness of the country and the magic of childhood.”—Kirkus Reviews
“A carefully crafted and riveting read from beginning to end.”—The Midwest Book Review
ISBN 978-1-910124-29-1 Paper $17.00
A lone building on a small island off Ireland’s Donegal coast, St Ernan’s is politely known as a “retirement home” for priests. The exiled residents are guilty of such serious offenses as entrepreneurship, criticizing the church, or getting too friendly with the flock. But things take a turn when Fr Matthew McKaye is found dead in the kitchen, a pot of potatoes boiling on the range. Has one of these isolated outcasts committed murder?
The case is assigned to Inspector Starrett and his tenacious team at the Serious Crimes Unit, who find the unexplainable cause of death to be the first in a string of oddities.
Starrett soon discovers that ten clergy alone on an island can concoct a great deal of mischief, but what could the young priest have done to get himself murdered? Long-buried grievances are awakened by the ghosts of Starrett’s seminarian past, and though Starrett excels at untangling facts from speculation, this investigation is going to require all the procedural discipline he can muster.
“In Irish author Charles’s atmospheric third Inspector Starrett mystery, Starrett investigates a murder at a home for wayward Catholic priests…The various secrets uncovered are worth waiting for.”—Publishers Weekly
“Charles makes Starrett’s third case leisurely, literate, ingenious…and as old-fashioned as the idea that priests are pillars of private morality.”—Kirkus Reviews
“The reader of St Ernan’s Blues will learn a lot about the priests of St Ernan’s and a lot about human nature.”—Irish American News2016, 320 pages (Dufour)
ISBN 978-0-8023-1360-7 Hardback $29.00
ISBN 978-0-8023-6031-1 Ebook $9.99
It’s time to choose: friendship, family, or loyalty to the cause. When Emer Davey saves her neighbor Jack Madigan from drowning, it seems that they will be friends forever. But eight months later, they find themselves on opposite sides in a life-or-death struggle, as Dublin is torn apart by the Easter Rising.
“[Gallagher] lets readers draw their own conclusions about the political issues while showing that friendship remains more important than law. A lovely and well-written novel.”–Kirkus Reviews2015, 240 pages (O’Brien Press)
ISBN 978-1-84717-631-8 Paperback $13.00
In Glasgow’s Kelvingrove Park, the bodies of two youths lie with bullet holes in their heads. Hungover, nicotine-starved, and ill-attired, procurator fiscal Maddy Shannon attends the scene, unaware that this grim morning is about to spiral out of control. The corpses have been carefully disfigured, perhaps signs of gangland revenge or, worse, ritual slayings. Motives and suspects are hard to find. As the gruesome complexities of the investigation multiply, the fragmented story of Maddy’s immigrant ancestors – her grandfather Nono and his Great Adventure – emerges as a counterpoint to brutality and corruption. As she struggles to prove her worth against the darkest side of human nature, we discover the history and heartbreak that created this strong-willed woman. This first crime novel by versatile Scottish author Chris Dolan is written with wit and empathy.
“Plenty to keep [readers] guessing in Dolan’s complex, perceptive crime debut.”—Kirkus Reviews
“Deftly unsettling crime novel…Visceral prose, a dark subject, and black humor make this a welcome addition to the Tartan Noir collective.”—Publishers Weekly2015, 295 pages (Vagabond Voices)
ISBN 978-1-908251-32-9 Paperback $25.00
Pal has a shameful secret that has dragged him into huge debt, and he is desperate that his teenage daughters and ex-wife don’t find out. Sixteen-year-old Sandra also has a secret. She’s in love with the delinquent Daniel William, a love so strong and pure that nothing can get in its way. Cecilie has the biggest secret of them all, a baby growing inside her. But she’s trapped in her small-time, criminal existence, and dreams of an escape from it all. Over three fateful September days, these lives cross in a whirlwind of brutality, laughter, tragedy, and love that will change them forever. A fast-paced, moving, and darkly funny page-turner.
“A dense literary novel that moves like a thriller…Renberg gives us a novel, rooted in noir softened by comedy, that gets to the serious business of how our shortcomings are all linked.”–Kirkus Reviews2015, 552 pages (Arcadia)
ISBN 978-1-909807-60-0 Hardback $34.00
William Black’s debut collection looks closely at life in the heart of coal country — now fracking country — in Northeastern Pennsylvania. In these starkly beautiful, incandescent stories, people struggle with the grip that place and history have on them. They are consumed by searching — for love, for escape, for brief moments of clarity that give them the courage to continue.
William Black’s stories have appeared in The Sun, The Southern Review, Threepenny Review, Crazyhorse, Prairie Schooner, The Florida Review, and many other journals and magazines. He lives in Scranton, Pennsylvania and teaches at Johns Hopkins University.
“Black is at his best as a social realist in a blue-collar milieu.”—Kirkus Reviews
“William Black’s stunning and stirring debut collection consists of twelve short stories set in Appalachia’s Northeastern Pennsylvania, where rugged hills and peaceful valleys landscape both the terrain and the soul. The evocative language in which Inheritances is written mirrors the highs and lows of his characters’ emotions as Black leads us and immerses us into their lives. Each story’s intriguing beginning and thought-provoking ending make this collection a keeper—one you’ll find yourself reaching for every time you need a dose of the valor and courage his characters demonstrate…. Make a space on your bookshelf for this one, preferably on a shelf within arm’s reach, as it’s a short-story collection you won’t want to part with.”—NewPages
“Inheritances pulls you in by the scruff of your neck, then pounds on your heart. These finely etched tales are told by narrators we trust and believe in, describing this ravaged landscape and its people with insight and authority. William Black clearly knows this world of hard lives and hard work — knows it well enough to find the softness in it, the tender places.”—Jim Daniels author of Eight Mile High
“William Black’s characters, though they don’t know it, are on adventures dark, dangerous, foolhardy, brave, and filled with the beauty of the human spirit. Black’s landscapes and histories sometimes punish these people, but Black’s eye, prose and generosity imbue both the starkest terrain and most desperate inhabitants with wonder and earned hope.” —Tim Parrish author of The Jumper
“William Black’s stories, of families caught in the drought of hollowed-out mining towns, are an inheritance of loss–of providing for one’s family, of a sense of self, of a sense of future. But somehow Black makes the hard, dangerous edges of their lives, the hot embers of their hearts, gleam and resonate. In short, they sting.”-Jen Michalski, The Tide King and The Summer She Was Under Water2015, 224 pages (Dufour)
ISBN 978-0-8023-1359-1 Paperback $15.00
Winner of The Glass Key (top Nordic novel 2013) and winner of The Golden Revolver (top Norwegian crime novel 2012). Seventeen years ago, William Wisting led the investigation into one of Norway’s most widely publicized criminal cases, when the young Cecilia Linde was killed. Now it is discovered that evidence was planted and the wrong man convicted. Wisting is suspended and the media smell blood. William Wisting has spent his life hunting criminals, but now it is he who is hunted. To discover what really happened he must work alone and under cover, assisted only by his journalist daughter Line. Then another young woman disappears.
“Horst’s engaging third mystery featuring the Norwegian policeman…A recent unsolved murder and another young girl’s disappearance heighten the suspense.”–Publishers Weekly
“Intriguing series.”–Kirkus Reviews
2014, 336 pages (Sandstone)
ISBN 978-1-908737-63-2 Paperback $18.00
Published in celebration of Dylan Thomas’ 100th birthday. New York, 1953. A private investigator takes on a tail job for Time Magazine. His quarry is a poet, newly arrived from the UK, who is suing the magazine for libel. The private eye has never heard of him, but he will soon. The mark is the Welsh poet, Dylan Thomas. And in three weeks time, Mr. Thomas will be dead. Based on true events The Poet & the Private Eye is a beautifully written work of historical fiction lamenting the sad end of a brilliant poet.
“Gittins mines Thomas’ real-life last days for these obvious lessons with sensitivity and devotion.”–Kirkus Reviews
“[An] inventive tale. . . Gittins paints a moving portrait of a talented man feted by the same public complicit in his death.”–Publishers Weekly
“It’s a coming-of-age story, really, as our PI, who has never heard of Thomas in the beginning, comes to sympathize with him and even falls under the sway of his poetry.”–Booklist
“The tone here is conversational, making the narrator utterly believable.”–Library Journal2014, 304 pages (Y Lolfa)
ISBN 978-1-84771-899-0 Paperback $19.00