From Barnes & Noble –
Poignant and rich enough to be read as a standalone, Karen Kingsbury's Coming Home rounds out the full-bodied story of the Baxter Family. The homecoming in the title is literal: The novel focuses on the long-awaited family reunion of the entire Baxter brood. That eagerly anticipated event is complicated and saddened, however, by a terrible tragedy that affects them all. Only the power of God and their closeness to one another can draw them together into a nurturing circle.
Kirkus Reviews –
Frank's latest is her usual warmhearted look at grief, healing and South Carolina coastal life. Jackie McMullen, an Army nurse, is relieved from her deployment in Afghanistan when she becomes the sole support of her 10-year-old son, Charlie. Her husband, Jimmy, a New York City firefighter, was killed in the line of duty. Her mother, Annie Britt, insists Jackie bring Charlie, who is deeply depressed after the loss of his father, to summer at the "Salty Dog," the Britts' Sullivan's Island home. Although Charlie takes immediately to Lowcountry beachcombing, Jackie is unsettled by her mother's obvious crush on Steve, the widowed dermatologist next door, who, Jackie notes ruefully, would rather flirt with daughter than mother. Annie is still married to Jackie's father, Buster, although they have lived apart for 11 years (ever since Buster embarked on an extended fishing trip). But the presence of his only grandson lures Buster back to the Salty Dog, as does, although he won't admit it, rekindled passion for Annie since her recent overhaul by a Charleston makeover maven. When Charlie himself (channeling Annie's fondest wish) starts angling to stay on Sullivan's Island instead of returning to Brooklyn, Jackie is torn. Jimmy's grave is in New York, and her mother can still push every one of her buttons, for example when she insists on telling Charlie morbid Edgar Allen Poe tales right before bedtime. The sudden death of a neighbor, the husband of Annie's best friend Deb, triggers a vicarious crisis that soon has the Britt family rethinking its priorities. Jackie and Doctor Steve, of course, both glimpse the possibility of moving on from loss together. Although leavened with wry humor, particularly in the sections narrated by Annie, the story stumbles under the weight of too many clichés. Moreover, Frank's target demographic may be put off by the portrayal of Annie and other aging Boomers as positively geriatric. Happy families are all alike, which is why, even on the beach, they can be a bore.
Publishers Weekly –
Nantucket Island’s year-round residents are shaken when a car crash claims the life of driver Penny Alistair, a vibrant and popular high school student, and leaves her twin brother, Hobby, in a coma. The other passengers, Penny’s boyfriend Jake and their friend Demeter, each have secrets, and everyone is touched by the tragedy, in fact, practically everyone on the island feels some responsibility for the accident. What did Demeter, who had been drinking, divulge to Penny on the beach that night? Was it Jake’s indiscretion after the cast party for the high school’s production of Grease, or Hobby’s just before prom? Was it the newspaper publisher’s affair, or Penny’s knowledge of his wife’s depression after the loss of her infant son? Each character’s guilt rubs them raw with worry. The sparks that this story throws out becomes a current that circles the agitated kids and their parents, electrifying the atmosphere as they grapple with what happened. Hilderbrand (Silver Girl) has a gift for building tension, and the reader will be willing to do just about anything to discover the real reason why Penny would drive herself, her brother, and her boyfriend over an embankment into oblivion.
From Barnes & Noble –
Lizzy Tucker was never a cheerleader or a prom queen and she didn't graduate with honors, but she can tell a story well. In this case that yarn centrally involves sleuthing partner Diesel, who she describes as "big and scruffy and beach bum blond [with] a hard muscled body, a questionable attitude, and a monkey named Carl." With that information in hand, you are ready to launch on another captivating, earthy Janet Evanovich whodunit. (P.S. In this second Lizzy and Diesel outing, the emphasis is on earthy. In Wicked Appetite, they tackled the deadly sin of gluttony. This time, it's lust.)
Kirkus Reviews –
A country singer/songwriter who's getting unwelcome attention from a devoted fan provides kinesic specialist Kathryn Dance, of the California Bureau of Investigation, with her third extra-twisty case. Edwin Sharp really likes Kayleigh Towne. Since receiving the computer-generated email thanking him for his interest in her, he's written back 50 times, effortlessly dodging the attempts of her protective staff to throw him off her scent. He knows everything about her and her entourage--her father and mentor, Bishop Towne; her assistant, Alicia Sessions; her producer, Barry Zeigler; and her chief roadie Bobby Prescott--so of course he's on hand, all courtesy and insinuating smiles, when she returns to her hometown of Fresno for a concert. Kayleigh's old friend Kathryn Dance ( 2009, etc.), who also happens to be on hand, can't read Edwin's body language: He's either completely honest or completely delusional. But she can't resist elbowing her way into the investigation bullheaded sheriff's deputy P.K. Madigan launches when a heavy lighting fixture just happens to brain Bobby late one night. Kathryn soon sets Madigan straight about what happened to that errant light and how to conduct a proper interrogation. In the absence of any hard evidence against Edwin, however, the sheriff's office has to let him go, and the violence escalates. Fans of Deaver's celebrated sleuthing marathons will wait with bated breath as this onion is peeled to disclose multiple layers of deception, betrayal and triple crosses. This time, though, the surprises, driven by Deaver's constant determination to outdo himself, seem both over-galvanized and uninspired. Deaver has to call in his main man, quadriplegic criminalist Lincoln Rhyme ( 2010, etc.), to run the forensics that yield a crucial clue. The bevy of criminals working independently and at serious cross-purposes is not to be believed. And the ending is his most conventional in years. A serious page-turner that would have been even better if it had ended a hundred pages earlier.