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The Summer I Dared; Whiteout; A Redird Christmas; Skeleton Man
The Summer I Dared Whiteout A Redird Christmas Skeleton Man Author:Barbara Delinsky; Ken Follett; Fannie Flagg; Tony Hillerman Ever prolific and popular Delinsky has often considered the phenomena of near-death experiences granting second chances in life, but rather than rely on hackneyed notions of heroes rising Phoenix-like from the ashes to triumph over adversity, Delinsky grounds her characters in the here-and-now and presents them with dilemmas more familiar than f... more »anciful. Such is the case in her latest work, a tale of three people quite literally thrown together following a boating accident off the Maine coast that spares them while taking the lives of nine others. At 40 Julia is an obedient wife, dutiful daughter, and devoted mother, and has planned a visit to her aunt Zoe to reflect on her obligation to herself versus her ties to her family. Rescued by fellow passenger Noah Prine, Julia feels connected to him by virtue of their shared tragedy while also being drawn to Kim Colella, the other survivor, whose whereabouts at the time of the crash provide a shadowy subplot. As a gentle romance blossoms between Julia and Noah, each evaluates who they were before the accident and who they hope to become in its aftermath. Once again, Delinsky excels at combining a compelling mystery with an insightful portrayal of captivating people facing challenges both ordinary and dramatic. Carol Haggas
Copyright ? American Library Association. All rights reserved
From Publishers Weekly
Bestseller Follett sets his sights on biological terrorism, pumping old-school adrenaline into this new breed of thriller. Ex-policewoman Antonia "Toni" Gallo, head of security at a boutique pharmaceuticals company, has discovered that two doses of an experimental drug?developed as a potential cure for the deadly Madoba-2 virus?have vanished from her top-secret laboratory. This mystery is a precursor to a more serious crime being planned by Kit Oxenford, the gambling-addicted son of the company's founder, Stanley Oxenford. Kit, deeply in debt to mobster Harry Mac, sees a raid on his father's lab as a chance to score enough money to disappear and start anew in another country. Some characters are a bit familiar?the pesky, unprincipled journalist; the imbecilic police detective?but others, the mobster's psychopathic daughter in particular, show idiosyncratic originality. After a long buildup, the burglary is set in motion, and Kit's best-laid plans begin to fall apart. Eventually, good guys and bad guys end up at the Oxenford family estate, trapped in the house by a fierce snowstorm as they battle one another over the material stolen from the laboratory. A romance between the recently widowed Stanley and Toni and the unexpected addition of Toni's comically addled mother thicken the plot as Follett's agonizingly protracted, nail-biter ending drags readers to the very edge of their seats and holds them captive until the last villain is satisfactorily dispatched.
Copyright ? Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved
A REDBIRD CHRISTMAS
Lured by a brochure his doctor gives him after informing him that his emphysema has left him with scarcely a year to live, 52-year-old Oswald T. Campbell abandons wintry Chicago for Lost River, Ala., where he believes he'll be spending his last Christmas. Bestselling author Flagg (Fried Green Tomatoes; Standing in the Rainbow) makes this down-home story about good neighbors and the power of love sparkle with wit and humor, as she tells of Oswald's new life in a town with one grocery store and a resident cardinal (or redbird, as the natives call it). Frances Cleverdon, one of four widows and three single women in town, hopes to fix him up with her sister, Mildred?if only Mildred wouldn't keep dying her hair outrageous colors every few days. The quirky story takes a heartwarming turn when Frances and Oswald become involved in the life of Patsy Casey, an abandoned young girl with a crippled leg. As Christmas approaches, the townspeople and neighboring communities?even the Creoles, whose long-standing feud with everybody else keeps them on the other side of the river?rally round shy, sweet Patsy. Flagg is a gifted storyteller who knows how to tug at readers' heartstrings, winding up her satisfying holiday tale with the requisite Christmas miracle.
Copyright ? Reed Business Information
SKELETON MANJoe Leaphorn, former Navajo tribal police lieutenant, is not a happy retiree. So when his successor asks him to look into how a young Hopi named Billy Tuve came by a valuable diamond the boy tried to pawn for a fraction of its worth, Joe finds himself involved in a five decade old mystery. It dates back to a plane crash in the Grand Canyon, one that took the life of a man whose putative daughter also has an interest in the diamond; it could lead her to her father's remains, from which she hopes to extract enough DNA to establish her birthright. For good measure, Hillerman adds a couple of villains determined to beat her to the site of the crash, a cache of other diamonds long since given up for lost in the Canyon's watery depths, and a Hopi ritual that's kept the site secret for years. It's a good yarn, well but twice told; Hillerman sets it up in a chronologically confusing opening chapter, in which Joe spins the story for a couple of former law-enforcement colleagues--not just to entertain or enlighten them but to demonstrate what he calls his "Navajo belief in universal connections. The cause leads to inevitable effect. The entire cosmos being an infinitely complicated machine all working together."
Hillerman is a name-brand writer with a huge and well deserved following. His evocation of the landscape of the Southwest is as compelling as it ever was, and many familiar characters from the other 18 novels in this prize-winning series appear here, notably Sergeant Jim Chee and border patrol officer Bernie Manuelito, the woman Chee hopes to marry. Joe Leaphorn remains his most fully-realized protagonist; his perspective on life, destiny, and the sometimes uneasy truce between Native Americans and whites gives this series a unique place in the genre. But as evidenced by his latest, Hillerman's hero needs more than a retired duffer's memories to keep him vital and alive, even for his most dedicated fans.« less