Mar 1, 2010

new fiction

DON DELILLO HAS BEEN "WEIRDLY PROPHETIC about twenty-first-century America" (The New York Times Book Review). In his earlier novels, he has written about conspiracy theory, the Cold War and global terrorism. Now, in Point Omega, he looks into the mind and heart of a "defense intellectual," one of the men involved in the management of the country's war machine.
Richard Elster was a scholar — an outsider — when he was called to a meeting with government war planners, asked to apply "ideas and principles to such matters as troop deployment and counterinsurgency."
We see Elster at the end of his service. He has retreated to the desert, "somewhere south of nowhere," in search of space and geologic time. There he is joined by a filmmaker, Jim Finley, intent on documenting his experience. Finley wants to persuade Elster to make a one-take film, Elster its single character — "Just a man and a wall."
Weeks later, Elster's daughter Jessica visits — an "otherworldly" woman from New York, who dramatically alters the dynamic of the story. The three of them talk, train their binoculars on the landscape and build an odd, tender intimacy, something like a family. Then a devastating event throws everything into question.
In this compact and powerful novel, it is finally a lingering human mystery that haunts the landscape of desert and mind.

On a dusty highway just north of the United States/Mexico border, a man named Mike Finnegan is struck by a fast-moving vehicle and flung into the desert. Miraculously, he survives and winds up in a hospital in the tiny border town of Buenavista, seemingly in full possession of his faculties — including the eerie ability to understand events happening well outside the view from his hospital bed.Charlie Hood joins a Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms task force patrolling the “iron river,” where illegal guns flow from United States dealers to the Mexican drug business. Hood is part of a stakeout team when a federal officer’s bullet kills an innocent boy. The boy happens to be the son of Benjamin Armenta, head of the Gulf Cartel and one of the most violent men in the world. Armenta’s thirst for vengeance even in routine business matters is well known. His hired killers are credited with many of the murders and beheadings of the fifteen thousand people who have died in the cartel wars along the border in recent years. Hood and ATF brace themselves for brute vengeance.As this unthinkable violence leaks from Mexico into the United States, and as Finnegan’s predictive powers become even stranger and stronger, Charlie Hood works to understand the mysterious forces fighting for control of this tiny border town, forces that may have the power to slow the iron river — and to save the ATF men he has come to think of as his brothers.

At Princeton University, a famed geneticist dies inside a biohazard lab. In Rome, a Vatican archaeologist is found dead in St. Peter's Basilica. In Africa, a U.S. senator's son is slain outside a Red Cross camp. The three murders on three continents bear a horrifying connection: all the victims are marked by a Druidic pagan cross burned into their flesh.
The bizarre murders thrust Commander Gray Pierce and Sigma Force into a race against time to solve a riddle going back centuries, to a ghastly crime against humanity hidden within a cryptic medieval codex.
Aided by two women from his past--one his ex-lover, the other his new partner--Gray must piece together the horrifying truth. But the revelations come at a high cost, and to save the future, Gray will have to sacrifice one of the women at his side.
That alone might not be enough, as the true path to salvation is revealed in a dark prophecy of doom...

Four famed ’60s radicals are gunned down at long range by a sniper. Under enormous media scrutiny, the FBI quickly concludes that Marine war hero Carl Hitchcock, whose ninety-three kills were considered the leading body count tally among American marksman in Vietnam, was the shooter. But as the Bureau, led by Special Agent Nick Memphis, bears down, Hitchcock commits suicide. In closing out the investigation, Nick discovers a case made in heaven: everything fits, from timeline, ballistics, and forensics to motive, means, and opportunity. Maybe it’s a little too perfect.Nick asks his friend, the retired Marine sniper Bob Lee Swagger, to examine the data. Using a skill set no other man on earth possesses, Swagger soon discovers unseen anomalies and gradually begins to unravel a sophisticated conspiracy—one that would require the highest level of warcraft by the most superb special operations professionals.Swagger soon closes in, and those responsible will stop at nothing to take him out. But these heavily armed men make the mistake of thinking they are hunting Bob, when he is, in fact, hunting them. And when Swagger and the last of his antagonists finally face each other, reenacting a classic ritual of arms, it is clear that at times there’s nothing more necessary than a good man with a gun and the guts to use it.
On the eve of Marcus Cicero's inauguration as consul of Rome, the grisly death of a boy sends ripples of fear through a city already wracked by civil unrest, crime, and debauchery of every kind. Felled by a hammer, his throat slit and his organs removed, the young slave appears to have been offered as a human sacrifice, forbidden as an abomination in the Roman Republic. For Cicero, the ill forebodings of this hideous murder only increase his frustrations and the dangers he already faces as Rome's leader: elected by the people but despised by the heads of the two rival camps, the patricians and populists.
Caught in a political shell game that leaves him forever putting out fires only to have them ignite elsewhere, Cicero plays both for the future of the republic and his very life. There is a plot to assassinate Cicero, abetted by a rising young star of the Roman senate named Gaius Julius Caesar — and it will take all the embattled consul's wit, strength, and force of will to stop it and keep Rome from becoming a dictatorship.
In this second novel of his Roman trilogy, following the bestselling Imperium, Robert Harris once again weaves a compelling and historically accurate tale of intrigue told in the wise and compassionate voice of Cicero's slave and private secretary, Tiro. In the manner of I, Claudius, Harris vividly evokes ancient Rome and its politics for today's readers, documenting a world not unlike our own — where the impulse toward dominance competes with the risk of overreach, where high-minded ideals can be a liability, and where someone is always waiting in the wings for a chance to set the world on fire.

In this heartfelt and incisive new novel, Danielle Steel celebrates the virtues of unconventional beauty while exploring deeply resonant issues of weight, self-image, sisterhood, and family. A chubby little girl with blond hair, blue eyes, and ordinary looks, Victoria Dawson has always felt out of place in her family, especially in body-conscious L.A. Her father, Jim, is tall and slender, and her mother, Christina, is a fine-boned, dark-haired beauty. Both are self-centered, outspoken, and disappointed by their daughter’s looks. When Victoria is six, she sees a photograph of Queen Victoria, and her father has always said she looks just like her. After the birth of Victoria’s perfect younger sister, Gracie, her father liked to refer to his firstborn as “our tester cake.” With Gracie, everyone agreed that Jim and Christina got it right.

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