New York Times
Five Decembers is a gripping thriller, a staggering portrait of war, and a heartbreaking love story, as unforgettable as All the Light We Cannot See.
"Read this book for its palpitating story, its perfect emotional and physical detailing and, most of all, for its unforgettable conjuring of a steamy quicksilver world that will be new to almost every reader."
December 1941. America teeters on the brink of war, and in Honolulu, Hawaii, police detective Joe McGrady is assigned to investigate a homicide that will change his life forever. Because the trail of murder he uncovers will lead him across the Pacific, far from home and the woman he loves; and though the U.S. doesn't know it yet, a Japanese fleet is already steaming toward Pearl Harbor.
This extraordinary novel is so much more than just a gripping crime story—it's a story of survival against all odds, of love and loss and the human cost of war. Spanning the entirety of World War II, FIVE DECEMBERS is a beautiful, masterful, powerful novel that will live in your memory forever.
PRAISE FOR FIVE DECEMBERS BY JAMES KESTREL, FINALIST FOR THE EDGAR, HAMMETT AND BRAM STOKER AWARDS
"Vivid, richly detailed... This tale of love, courage, hardship, and devotion is unforgettable" – Publishers Weekly, Starred Review
"Magnificent... a transcendent love story and a gripping thriller... it works superbly... plot strands come together exquisitely in a truly breathtaking finale that is unbearably violent one moment and tearfully tender the next... Give this special novel the word of mouth it so richly deserves." – Booklist, Starred Review
"Kestrel’s expertly clipped descriptive passages and dialogue bring his spacious canvas into razor-sharp focus." – Kirkus Reviews
“Five Decembers is absolutely terrific. I can’t remember the last novel I read that was so beautifully immersive. A joy to read.” –Lou Berney
"Five Decembers is really excellent. A first-rate book." – James Fallows
"A crime epic for the ages." – Dennis Lehane
"What a story! Totally engrossing, beautifully written, sometimes shocking and very moving." – Elly Griffiths
"Five Decembers is a masterpiece. You'll stay up all night with this one. It’s unique and it’s terrific." – Eric Redman, author of The Dance of Legislation and Bones of Hilo
"Utterly enthralling. Wildly ambitious and deeply haunting, Five Decembers drops you in the middle of a dark noir dream full of heat, loss and memory. Not to be missed" –Megan Abbott
"James Kestrel evokes the Hawaii, the Hong Kong and the Tokyo of the 1940s with an urgency, a vividness—a passion—few of us can have met before. Read this book for its palpitating story, its perfect emotional and physical detailing and, most of all, for its unforgettable conjuring of a steamy quicksilver world that will be new to almost every reader." – Pico Iyer
“The definition of a page-turner… an emotionally charged crime novel shaped by the tragic years of a world at war, a story that is relentlessly hopeful in the face of unrequited devotion and doomed love.” – Every Read Thing
“Loved every page. A brilliant wartime noir that entangles you in a mystery while transporting you to a different age.” – Mason Cross
”I was completely blown away by Five Decembers. It is one of best novels I have read about the twilight days of empire, its protagonist getting caught up in the maelstrom of the British, Japanese and European empires dragging themselves into oblivion. ” – Steven Powell
“What a wonderful book Five Decembers is! One of the best hardboiled mysteries I've read in years, and an epic war story and love story to boot.” – James Reasoner
"A gripping, taut, magnificent saga unlike anything we’ve ever read in our life. No understatement there. It is a work of power, brilliant plotting, heart and grace" – Pulp Fiction Reviews
ACCLAIM FOR THE AUTHOR’S EARLIER WORK:
"Suspense that never stops." – James Patterson
"An electrifying read." – Stephen King