cover image Eagle & Crane

Eagle & Crane

Suzanne Rindell. Putnam, $27 (448p) ISBN 978-0-399-18429-1

Rindell’s satisfying third novel (following Three-Martini Lunch) sets a love triangle against WWII and a traveling barnstorming act. In 1943, FBI Agent Bonner arrives at the Newcastle, Calif., home of Louis Thorn to question him regarding the whereabouts of Harry Yamada, his former barnstorming partner, and Harry’s father, Kenichi, who have escaped from a Japanese-American internment camp. Suddenly, Bonner and Louis witness the takeoff and crash of a biplane. Authorities discover two bodies whom they believe are the Yamadas; Bonner suspects sabotage and investigates. The narrative then jumps back to 1940, when the young, plucky Ava Brooks meets Harry and Louis while traveling with her stepfather’s flying circus. She’s drawn to both young men. The narrative toggles back and forth between the early days of Harry and Louis’s daredevil act, the feud between their families, and Bonner’s investigation of Louis in Harry’s disappearance. At times, Rindell’s prose is stilted, and Ava’s con-artist stepfather is over the top. However, Rindell effectively incorporates the forced internment of Japanese-Americans in camps during WWII, and the fraught, complex friendship between Louis and Harry is as riveting as the truth behind the crash. Rindell’s sweeping generational saga will please fans of immersive, meticulously researched historicals. (July)