Monday, December 21, 2009

Kirkus' last gasp

As most of you know, the venerable Kirkus Reviews, part of Nielsen Business Media, is shutting down for good this month after 76 years in the business (also folding is its sister pub., Editor and Publisher, after 108 years). However, Kirkus did manage to sneak a review of GONE 'TIL NOVEMBER into its final issue.

Wallace Stroby
(Starred review)

As if it weren’t nerve-wracking enough to be a deputy and a mom, suddenly she’s a target.

Privacy’s a joke in tiny Hopedale, Fla. So when Deputy Sara Cross and Deputy Billy Flynn become lovers, everybody knows it almost before they do. Nor does it stay news long when two years later they break up. Sara’s coming to her senses, conventional wisdom maintains, since everybody also knows that for all his charm and good looks, Billy lacks substance, whereas all you have to do is watch Sara mothering her ailing six-year-old son to know that she’s a rock. But rock or no, Sara is one of those women who all too often lets her heart rule her head, and on the night of a fatal shooting, part of her senses that it’s a mistake to accept Billy’s version of how it all went down. Yes, the explanation is plausible; yes, there are weapons stashed away in the young black man’s car; and yes, when Billy fired it might well have been by the book. But soon enough strangers arrive in Hopedale—hard, big-city, dangerous men following stolen money, who are after Billy because they’re sure he knows where it is. And after Sara, certain she does, too.

A strong cast and energetic storytelling. But it’s Sara, so human and so beset, who makes this another standout for Stroby.

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