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Hindsight  by Barbara Rogan

Publisher: Simon & Schuster; ; (February 2003) ISBN: 0743205995

It was graduation night in 1972 when 9 friends made a pact to meet up again 20 years later for a reunion.  Biographer Willa Scott remembers the vow in 1992, and sets about to find her friends for the planned reunion.  Finding all but one, Angel, the wild and promiscuous firebrand, the friends come together with different agendas and soon it’s clear that the bonds that once brought them together are surrounded by doubt and uncertainty.  The search for Angel leads Willa down a frightening path, and soon the startling realization that one of them may be a killer leads to ever-increasing danger putting all of their futures in jeopardy.    

Let me start by saying that this is a marvelous book.  Rogan’s authentic and unflinching look at teenage friendships as seen 20 years down the road comes highly, highly recommended.  Rogan has done a superior job in telling her story of these friendships being re-examined through an adult eye.  What does bring certain groups together as youths, and where does that bond go in adulthood?  And how well do we really know and understand those we care for?  Is it that people change, or simply our perspectives of them?  Her unsettling examination of these questions is suspenseful and evocative, giving the reader much to think about during this daringly honest look at growing up and facing our past, while bearing the grief of finally letting go of the people we’ve outgrown.  This book is a rare one, gripping and mesmerizing, it will keep the reader captivated until the final page.     

 

The Dwelling by Susie Moloney

 Publisher: Atria Books; ; (February 2003) ISBN: 0743456629

It seems hardly no one wishes to buy the house on 362 Belisle Street, and those that do seem to meet with calamity and misfortune.  So it’s no wonder that real estate agent Glenn Darnley is having a hard time selling the property for good.  Three separate stories involving three separate owners make up this erudite ghostly thriller, with the thread between the three being the story of Glenn Darnley, a recent widow, and the woman the house wishes to claim for its own.   

This supernatural thriller is both poignant and literate.  The insidious evil wrapped up in this haunted house begins as a whisper and ends with a shout, leaving behind shudders and goosebumps. You’ll want to leave your lights on all night, and more than likely you’ll suddenly hear malice in every little creak in your own home.  This is not a book easily read; there are no happy endings, nor satisfying conclusions, instead, there is only the threat (?) of nothing truly being over, not even death, which is only the beginning at 362 Belisle Street.   

 

 

The Kingmaker by Brian Haig

JAG Lawyer Major Sean Drummond returns in fine style, or should I say, ‘returns regally’ in this superb military-legal thriller The Kingmaker.

            Having read the previous two Sean Drummond thrillers- Secret Sanction and Mortal Allies, and being spell-bounded by them, I was eagerly waiting for The Kingmaker. Secret Sanction and Mortal Allies were, even modestly put, superb- and I had a little trepidation, would as good as the earlier two- and the verdict my friends- it is regally superb.

            If Kosovo and Korea were the scene of action in the earlier works, action shifts to Moscow in The Kingmaker. This time round Drummond is called to defend a General accused of high treason and espionage. General William Morrison has been accused of selling out inner workings of United States foreign policy to Russians. All evidence points to the guilt of the accused.  And what the Army wants and more importantly what the political power wants is a quick trial, drive home the guilt of the accused and sentence him for treason, murder and espionage. Drummond could have treated it as any other ‘open and (immediately) shut’ case, but there is a personal angle to it, General Morrison’s wife Mary was an old flame of Drummond- and a personal request from Mary grudgingly forces Drummond to accept the assignment and to find ‘any possible way in the midst of all impossibilities’. Pitted against him is prosecutor Eddie Golden – and Drummond and Golden go a long way back- Drummond usually being at the receiving end. However, Drummond has two main advantages, the quirky and intelligent co-counsel Katrina Mazorski and the no-nonsense paralegal Imelda Pepperfield. Together they investigate into the matter and what follows is a great story of treachery, double-cross and triple crosses that ultimately might work havoc to the very edifice of a democratic nation’s power policies.

            As usual, Haig’s expertise and wonderful narration skills-Flowing dialogue and skillful touch of humor, but devoid of heavy legalese, keep the reader riveted to the book.

A wonderful, wonderful read. Highly recommended.

Reviewer:  Narayan Radhakrishnan