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"Robert B. Parker's Angel Eyes" by Ace Atkins; G.P. Putnam's Sons (305 pages, $27) ___ Is Spenser still Spenser if you take him out of Boston? Few characters are as closely connected to their home turf as the wisecracking, steel-tough private investigator created by Robert B. Parker. Fans of the books have followed Spenser through a city rendered in such loving detail that they feel they know ...

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"Sandworm" by Andy Greenberg; Doubleday (348 pages, $28.95) ___ There's a riveting story to be told in "Sandworm," but Andy Greenberg hasn't figured out how to tell it. Named for an especially pernicious form of malware, "Sandworm" could have been a nonfiction page-turner along the lines of Richard Preston's "The Hot Zone," except with computer viruses imperiling civilization instead of the ...

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"The Giver of Stars" by Jojo Moyes; Pamela Dorman Books (400 pages, $28) ___ Marriage is not the escape that Alice Van Cleve was hoping for. She threw off a suffocating life in England to follow her handsome husband back to Kentucky - romance and independence is what she wants. But once settled in the big house in a small town, Alice quickly finds herself adrift, lonely and literally unloved. ...

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"The Confession Club" by Elizabeth Berg; Penguin Random House (290 pages, $26) ___ It all started innocently as the Third Sunday Supper Club, a companionable evening that evolved into a confidence-sharing, soul-baring session. Now, none of these confessions is too shocking - no murder, no infidelity. Lacking true scandal, the members live by the practical motto "The truth is always ...

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"A Better Man" by Louise Penny; Minotaur Books (448 pages, $28.99) ___ Armande Gamache returns as a high-ranking member of the Canadian Surete, this time humbled by a demotion from chief inspector to head of homicide due to events in the most recent two books of this richly told Canadian crime series. But no one can humble the deeply principled Gamache more thoroughly than he humbles himself. ...

"The Perfect Fraud" by Ellen LaCorte; Harper (292 pages, $26.99) ___ Call it "Strangers on a Plane," with a twist. In the classic 1950 psychological thriller "Strangers on a Train" by Patricia Highsmith, made into a film in 1951 by Alfred Hitchcock, two men agree to "trade" the murders of someone close to them in order to make the crimes look random. In Ellen LaCorte's debut novel, "The ...

"Nothing More Dangerous" by Allen Eskens; Mulholland Books (291 pages, $27) ___ Acclaimed Minnesota attorney-turned-writer Allen Eskens has taken a sharp turn into new territory with his latest book, a literary novel that explores racial prejudice in mid-1970s Missouri. It's a heavy theme, but "Nothing More Dangerous" buzzes along with the tempo of a boyhood story that almost tells itself. ...

"The Perfect Fraud" by Ellen LaCorte; Harper ($26.99, 304 pages) ___ Several types of fraud infuse Ellen LaCorte's intriguing debut, a family drama and a character study of two different women. "The Perfect Fraud" also delivers a unique spin on con game novels. Claire Hathaway knows she's a fraud. Although she comes from a long line of psychics, Claire has never had "the gift" to tell a ...

'The Night Fire' by Michael Connelly. Little, Brown, $29, 400 pages ___ Michael Connelly has kept a freshness to each of his novels about LAPD Detective Harry Bosch by discovering new aspects about his perennial hero, and by bringing in solid, believable characters to inhabit Harry's world. His mission to ferret out criminals has never gone smoothly for Harry, and Connelly's decision to age ...

'Night Shade' by Pauline Knaeble Williams. (40 Press, 224 pages, $16.95 paperback.) ___ Ambitious and arresting, Minneapolis native Pauline Knaeble Williams' second novel tells the story of Penny McGinty, a hardworking, kindhearted Irish immigrant maid for a Philadelphia family. It's 1850, just after passage of the Fugitive Slave Act, which required that all escaped slaves be returned to their ...