Three new books in bookstores this week

Posted Sunday, Sep. 15, 2013  comments  Print Reprints

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Here’s what’s new in bookstores this week:

•  Bleeding Edge, by Thomas Pynchon (Penguin, $28.95) — The author of Gravity’s Rainbow (1973) follows 2009’s Inherent Vice with a “historical romance” set in New York in 2001 — after the dot-com crash, up to 9-11 and its aftermath. There’s a huge cast of characters, but Maxine Tarnow is at its heart — a single working mom who’s freelancing as a fraud investigator and is in the middle of a mysterious case. Some of Pynchon’s go-to topics — sex, love, paranoia, violence, dirty jokes (and did I mention paranoia?) — ride the wave of the digital age and post-9-11 psyche.

•  Seven for a Secret, by Lyndsay Faye (Amy Einhorn Books/Putnam, $26.95) — In her sequel to The Gods of Gotham, the author returns to the New York Police Department, now 6 months old in 1846, and its most talented officer, Timothy Wilde, a former bartender who is described as a “one-man force of righteousness.” He dealt with child prostitution and was schooled in the way of crooked politics in the first novel. Now, Wilde, who’s a strong abolitionist, is hot on the trail of “blackbirders,” who kidnap free blacks and sell them into slavery in the South.

•  The Quest, by Nelson DeMille (Center Street, $26) — Originally written in 1975, this novel has been reworked and updated by the bestselling author (Plum Island, Night Fall). Two journalists and a beautiful photographer (hello, love triangle) are in Ethiopia to cover the civil war in 1975. Their actual quest begins when they meet a dying priest, who tells them that he found the Holy Grail, the cup of Christ from The Last Supper — and where to find it. The trio sets off, encountering resistance from the Vatican, deadly tribesmen, assassins and “powers of the Grail itself.”

— Celeste Williams

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