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Lydia Millet’s “dark, fiercely intelligent” new novel picks up where her last one left off, said Tricia Springstubb in the Cleveland Plain Dealer. A quasi-sequel to How the Dead Dream, Ghost Lights introduces readers to IRS agent Hal Lindley, who has taken on the task of solving the previous novel’s unfinished business, namely the disappearance of its protagonist. Real estate mogul T. was last seen somewhere near Belize, and Hal, who’s just learned that his wife is cheating on him, jumps at the chance to undertake a Conrad-esque journey to find the missing man. Once Hal is near the equator, his quest gets “surreal and satiric,” and the mistakes of his old life come into sharp focus. So do Millet’s talents. She’s “that rare writer of ideas” who can seamlessly insert ideas into a compelling story. I didn’t even mind that the ending left me “utterly mystified,” said Brock Clarke in The Boston Globe. This is the kind of book that writes its own rules. You follow along “willingly and happily” even when its author’s motivations are mysterious.
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