Richard Price is known for his crisp, realistic dialogue, and Lush Life (Picador, $15) would be a joy to read for the dialogue alone; fortunately, the story and characters are excellent too!  Technically, Lush Life is a “police procedural,” but in fact it’s something of a mystery in reverse: you already know who did it—what you don’t know is how, or if, the police will figure it out.   Price, who wrote for the TV series The Wire, is expert at portraying city life in all its quirky, gritty, imperfect, and sometimes even funny, glory.  It’s amazing how his writing makes you feel like a fly on the walls of his characters’ lives.  Best of all, though, reading Lush Life leaves you feeling as though you have spent time in a small corner of New York City you would never get to experience otherwise.

Lush Life: A Novel Cover Image
ISBN: 9780312428228
Availability: Not On Our Shelves—Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Picador - March 3rd, 2009

The Spies Of Warsaw (Random House, $15) is set in 1931 when the Nazi menace is mounting, but Hitler’s intentions are still unclear. French diplomats, German SS officers, and Russian agents angle for strategic advantage; and an engineer from a panzer factory is led down the slippery slope of betrayal. The professional spies are smooth and calculated operators, displaying dignified and noble bearing; but while patriotism is one motivation for espionage, self-interest and self-preservation prove more compelling. Alan Furst describes his characters’ most subtle dimensions and hooks the reader with their moral duplicity from the very first pages.

The Spies of Warsaw: A Novel Cover Image
ISBN: 9780812977370
Availability: Special Order—Subject to Availability
Published: Random House Trade Paperbacks - June 9th, 2009

It can be disconcerting when life imitates art. So it was with Vikram Chandra’s Sacred Games (Harper Perennial, $16.95), published a year before the horrible attacks in Mumbai last fall. No mere police procedural this, but a deeply political and social commentary on the state of Indian society, with Mumbai as the central character. The book is narrated in chapters which alternate between Ganesh Gatoinde, the Godfather, who tells his fearsome stories of gang warfare, and the honest policeman, Sartaj Singh, who represents the effort to hold back the tide of corruption and religious fanaticism that threatens to engulf India. An important theme is the humiliation that many suffered during Partition.  When you embark on a long plane ride or on vacation, Sacred Games will be a perfect companion.

Sacred Games: A Novel Cover Image
ISBN: 9780061130366
Availability: In Stock—Click for Locations
Published: Harper Perennial - December 18th, 2007