What’s new in bookstores this week

Posted Sunday, Jan. 26, 2014  comments  Print Reprints

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

•  An Officer and a Spy by Robert Harris (Knopf Doubleday, $27.95) — The bestselling author of Fatherland and The Ghost returns once again to historical fiction with his own take on the Dreyfus affair. The story is told by Col. Georges Picquart, whose unit helped expose Jewish army officer Alfred Dreyfus as a spy. Dreyfus is stripped of his rank in front of a huge, angry mob in Paris and shipped to Devil’s Island and a life sentence in solitary confinement. But Picquart uncovers clues that suggest Dreyfus was framed and begins a quest for the truth — at his own peril.

•  North of Boston by Elisabeth Elo (Pamela Dorman Books/Viking, $27.95) — The author chose the thriller genre for her debut novel because she loves a strong protagonist who drives the action. She’s created a dandy in Pirio Kasparov, a tough-talking Bostonian with a special gift: the ability to withstand extreme conditions. When a fishing boat she is on is split in two by a freighter, Pirio survives the frigid North Atlantic water for nearly four hours before being rescued. The boat’s owner (and friend) dies in the collision, and Pirio becomes convinced that this was no accident.

•  Snapshot by Lis Wiehl (Thomas Nelson, $26.99) — The bestselling author ( A Matter of Trust) is a former federal prosecutor and legal analyst for Fox News (in fact, a supplementary section offers essays from Bill O’Reilly and Juan Williams). A photo of an African-American girl and Wiehl at age 4 — shot by her FBI agent father on assignment at a 1965 civil rights rally in Fort Worth — provided the inspiration for this legal mystery. Now for the fiction: An activist is murdered at the rally. Years later, Lisa Waldren, now grown and a federal prosecutor, helps her father get to the truth.

— Celeste Williams

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