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     Volume 5 Issue 109 | August 25, 2006 |

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Thrill, Chill & Suspense


David Morrell
CDS Books; May 2006

Why would a college history professor, three of his former students, and a reporter with questionable credentials willingly embark on a journey that requires them to lower themselves into a manhole on a late October night? Because they are, according to Morrell's latest offering, urban explorers known as “creepers.” These modern-day adventurers spend countless hours crawling through storm drains, transit tunnels, and the like in search of abandoned vestiges of civilisation: factories, brickworks, railway stations - even military bases. In the case here, it is a hotel built in 1901 by a wealthy eccentric. During this adventure, the group encounters not only the dangers of decaying structure, but also other less-than-scrupulous urban speleologists and, finally, a demented kidnapper. Despite Morrell's reputation for fast-paced action and the distinctive setting he has created here, the book's momentum slows from the implausibility of the situations invented solely for the sake of plot enhancement.

Eleven on Top
Janet Evanovich
St. Martin's Press; June 2006

America's favourite bounty hunter, Stephanie Plum, is back in her eleventh adventure. Trouble seems to find Stephanie no matter where she goes, and once again she's struggling with her tangled love life, her chaotic family, and her God-given gift for destroying every car she drives. This time, Stephanie Plum has decided to quit her job as a bounty hunter. She wants something safe. She wants something normal. She's tired of creeps, weirdoes, and stalkers. But just when she thinks she's out, they pull her back in! This latest novel is packed full of Janet Evanovich's trademark wit, adventure, and sly comedy.

The Keep
Jennifer Egan
Knopf Publishing Group; August 2006

As Charles Seife reveals in this energetic new book, information theory, once the province of philosophers and linguists, has emerged as the crucial science of our time, shedding new light on the mysteries of physics, the nature of space, time, the creation and the destruction of the universe itself. With his gift for making cutting-edge science accessible and entertaining, Seife explains how theorists came to understand that information is not a construct of the mind but a fundamental element of the physical world, something that sits inside every living cell and surrounds every black hole in the cosmos. It exists, like energy, even if there is no life to observe it. Starting with the breaking of the Enigma code during World War II and building momentum with the computer revolution, information theory has taken its place at the forefront of theoretical physics as scientists begin to use it to reconcile the paradoxes of relativity and quantum mechanics that have puzzled theorists since Einstein. Lucid and exhilarating, Decoding the Universe probes the mind-boggling advances that are taking us to the brink of a new understanding of the universe.





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