Action is Between the Lines in Tale of Love, Loss, Politics
Bob Drogin

EXILES IN THE GARDEN. By Ward Just. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. July, 2009. 288 pages. $25.

Anyone who has spent time in London, Paris, Tokyo or any other major capital inevitably is dissatisfied in Washington, D.C.

Chosen by compromise, built atop a swamp, and provincial to its core, it offers some of the nation’s most appalling architecture (e.g., the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, or the J. Edgar Hoover FBI Building) and weather to match.

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Intrigue Every Inning: Thriller Has Curves Beyond Usual Pitch
Geoff Cousins
James Grippando’s Intent to Kill is fixed firmly in the thriller genre, but with more twists than most. The lead character, Ryan James, is a baseball star who has suffered tragic loss with the death of his wife in a hit-and-run accident — and not handled it as well as he might.
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Clue: Was it the Heiress in the Library?
Liz Durkee

LETHAL LEGACY. By Linda Fairstein. Doubleday. February, 2009. 367 pages. $26.

T he magnificent New York Public Library (NYPL) is the number one character in Linda Fairstein’s new Alexandra Cooper novel, Lethal Legacy.

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Narcoleptic Detective is Smokin’ in Debut Novel of the Neo-Noir
Anastasia Teterichko

THE LITTLE SLEEP. By Paul Tremblay. Holt Paperbacks, March, 2009. 288 pages. $14.

His first novel, Paul Tremblay’s The Little Sleep debuts as a one-of-a-kind of neo-noir. Eager to mix a little bit of magic into a standard recipe, Tremblay hits the spot with a thrilling detective story underscored by his expertise with horror fiction and fantasy.

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Mystery Tale Wags the Dog Detective, But Pooch Is a Hoot, Ahead of the Mob
Holly Nadler

DOG GONE IT. By Spencer Quinn. Atria, February 2009. 305 pages. $25.

If dogs could translate their thoughts into English, they would undoubtedly sound pretty much like Chet, canine co-owner (or so he fancies himself) of the Little Detective Agency in some unspecified western state: “Bernie rose. Me too. Enough of this chit chat. It was time to crack this case the way we usually do, with me sniffing out the perp.”

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Teen Dream Gets Dose of Real Suspense
Anastasia Teterichko

REALITY CHECK. By Peter Abrahams. HarperTeen, April, 2009. 336 pages Hardcover $16.99

If you can get past the not so germane title, Peter Abrahams’ Reality Check can be a spine-tingling teen thriller you won’t put down. Witty and clever, the novel secures Abrahams’ mastery over effortless storytelling, while taking the reader on wild goose chase that is both intuitive and startling.

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Books: The Dark Minds of Money Men
Holly Nadler

For anyone who has ever wondered how Wall Street hedge fund managers sleep at night and look themselves in the mirror in the morning, having spent the preceding day bilking clients, Men of Gain by Hunter McClelland (Strategic Book Publishing, $12.95) will give you a good idea of how this feels from the inside out.

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Author Enters Existential Life of Tragic Idol, Albert Camus
Gwyn McAllister

CAMUS, A ROMANCE. By Elizabeth Hawes. Grove Press. July 2009. 304 pages. $25 hardcover.

As an undergrad, Elizabeth Hawes became fascinated with Albert Camus and embarked on an exploration of not only the work but also the world of the brilliant, handsome and charismatic writer and philosopher. Although she was physically half a world away and metaphorically a universe away from her subject, she was determined to somehow enter her idol’s world.

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A New England Village, and Life Was Good

Bittersweet Beginnings:> A Sketchbook of a Great Depression Boyhood by James V. Wyman. Plaidsweed Publishing, Concord, N.H. Illustrated by Linda L. Tillson , 137 pages $19.95

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A Corny Story: New Book Harvests History From Morning Glory Farm
Max Hart

Sometime in the summer of 1970, a young Jim Athearn stood on Main street in Edgartown and faced one of the most important decisions of his life. The 22-year-old aspiring farmer had just received a few stern words from a market owner who had told him that his corn — the first crop he had ever grown and sold to market — was no good. His ears were full of worms, the owner told him. The words stung like a swarm of angry hornets.

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