New fiction hits the shelves at the library

Posted: Friday, April 13, 2007

Look for these titles and many more on the new fiction shelves at the Juneau Public Libraries.

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"Critique of Criminal Reason," by Michael Gregorio. Kant, advocate of emotion-free logic, appears here in his later years to lend his expertise to a former student. Stiffeniis is a judge from the countryside who has been summoned by the King of Prussia to catch a serial killer. Inclined to follow traditional methods of solving crimes (torture, for instance), he only reluctantly adopts his mentor's new theory of criminal reasoning as bodies pile up in this historical mystery. Set in Konigsberg during a particularly nasty winter as France nips at Prussia's heels, this is a complex and intelligent read.

"Call me by your name," by Andre Aciman. Seventeen year-old Elio spends summers at his family's Italian villa, swimming, basking in the sun and listening to his father's erudite guests argue obscure points. This year, however, one of the guests is Oliver, a handsome 24 year-old who is comfortable with his body, his Jewish identity and his sexuality. Elio is immediately attracted, but Oliver seems aloof. Aciman catches the nuances of the romantic dance perfectly: the way a look can elevate or devastate, or a tone of voice can open up a quicksand of uncertainty.

"Season of the Burning Souls," by Ken Hodgson. It's the summer of 1943 in the town of Silver City, and people are burning up - literally. First it's Phil-the-Prophet, then an itinerant banjo player and finally a 101-year-old nun. Whether it's a natural phenomenon, bizarre supernatural assassinations or a Nazi plot, Sheriff Sam Sinrod doesn't know, but he's determined to find out. This mix of mystery and western with a seasoning of science fiction will keep readers guessing till the end.

"Missile Gap," by Charles Stross. This slim volume of alternative history contemplates the flat and strangely changed, post-Cuban war Earth. Though the stars are now different, the U.S.- Soviet war continues unabated, and both sides are sending colonists to explore the new continents. What they find astounds them all: humans aren't the only ones with nuclear power and the will to use it.

"Darkfever," by Karen Marie Moning. From acclaimed romance-writer Moning comes the first in a new trilogy that explores the sometimes thin line between the human and fae worlds. When MacKayla Lane's sister is murdered in Ireland, Mac leaves her comfortable Georgia life to find out who - or what - killed her. Mac's only clue is a panicked phone message from Alina that she doesn't understand. Her arrival in Dublin leaves her still more confused: for one thing, she's sure she's seen a leprechaun in the airport and an elf in a pub. As she begins to understand her heritage, she gains a mentor and learns to watch the shadows in this suspenseful supernatural thriller.

"The Book of Dave," by Will Self. What if the world were run by a London cabbie? 500 years from now, in a place that used to be London, the society of Ham follows the Book of Dave religiously. Chapters alternate between the contemporary period when Dave, a disillusioned, divorced and depressed father writes and then buries a book for posterity, and the future, when said book is taken as gospel, offering a grimly humorous look at society. The plot spreads out like a map of London, and the Hamsters' Mokni speech (there's a dictionary in the back) adds to the contortions needed to work through this rewarding novel.

"The Perfect Fake," by Barbara Parker. When graphic artist Tom Fairchild is hired to duplicate a valuable but ruined 16th century map, he's interested in more than the money. Sure, he's got his probation officer breathing down his neck, wanting him to pay restitution to his latest victim, and $50,000 would help, but more than that, Tom's always up for a new challenge. But the instructions he's getting make the job sound more like forgery than duplication, and Tom really doesn't want to go back to prison - but the stakes are higher than he knows in this thriller.

• As always, placing a hold on our material is easy: Call the Juneau Public Library at 586-5249, or, if you have internet access, your library card and a PIN, you may place your own holds by going to our Web site ( and looking at our catalog or at the In the Stacks column on our site. The columns are linked to the catalog: simply click on the title you want, and you will be ready to place a hold.

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