by John Grisham
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“If only life moved at the same clip as a John Grisham novel,” said Chris Erksine in the Los Angeles Times. The clock is ticking from the outset of Grisham’s latest as a minister entangled in a death-penalty case works to convince Texas officials not to execute an innocent man for murder. Young writers should study Grisham’s pacing “the way budding composers study Brahms,” but there are so many faceless characters here, you risk losing the train if you put the book down.
Full Dark, No Stars
by Stephen King
The four new novellas in Stephen King’s latest add up to “some of the bleakest, most upsetting” fiction he’s ever produced, said Micah Mertes in the Lincoln, Neb., Journal Star. King is exploring here the notion that “in each person lies another person.” From the farmer who plots to kill his wife with the help of his teenage son to the accountant hoarding a box full of grisly secrets, the seemingly ordinary people in these stories turn out to have extraordinarily “rotten cores.”
I Still Dream About You
by Fannie Flagg
(Random House, $26)
The author who gave us Fried Green Tomatoes “has perfected a foolproof recipe for whimsical tales of Southern discomfort,” said Emma Hagestadt in the London Independent. Fannie Flagg’s latest centers on a 60-year-old former Miss Alabama who’s thinking about suicide when a mystery develops involving a business rival and a skeleton. “It wouldn’t be a Flagg novel without a group of tightly knit female friends.” Or if a reader didn’t end up rooting for all of them.
by David Baldacci
(Grand Central, $28)
David Baldacci’s latest is the “perfect thriller for a wintry weekend of reading,” said Doug Childers in the Richmond, Va., Times-Dispatch. The fifth book in the Camel Club series, it catches up with ex-CIA assassin Oliver Stone as he narrowly survives a bombing outside the White House and is asked to mount an international hunt for the culprits. Expect less political intrigue than adrenaline, though. Baldacci has packed in “enough car chases, gunfights, and explosions to fill a busy cineplex.”
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