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     Volume 4 Issue 42 | April 16, 2005 |

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Sanyat Sattar

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time
Mark Haddon
Vintage Books; May 2004

Christopher John Francis Boone knows all the countries of the world and their capitals and every prime number up to 7,057. He relates well to animals but has no understanding of human emotions. He cannot stand to be touched. Although gifted with a superbly logical brain, Christopher is autistic. Everyday interactions and admonishments have little meaning for him. Routine, order and predictability shelter him from the messy, wider world. Then, at fifteen, Christopher's carefully constructed world falls apart when he finds his neighbour's dog, Wellington, impaled on a garden fork, and he is initially blamed for the killing. Christopher decides that he will track down the real killer and turns to his favourite fictional character, the impeccably logical Sherlock Holmes, for inspiration. But the investigation leads him down some unexpected paths and ultimately brings him face to face with the dissolution of his parents' marriage. The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time is one of the freshest debuts in years: a comedy, a heartbreaker, a mystery story, a novel of exceptional literary merit that is great fun to read.

If Angels Burn
Lynn Viehl
Signet; April 2005

What if vampires were the victims and humans the predators? This is the underlying premise of Lynn Viehl's most unusual love story, If Angels Burn. It is the first in a suspenseful new series about the Darkyn, vampire-like creatures persecuted by humans since the Middle Ages. When Dr. Alexandra Keller is recruited -- kidnapped, actually -- to perform reconstructive surgery on a reclusive New Orleans millionaire, she finds more than a patient in need of a new face. She meets a compelling being, Michael Cyprien, who engages her on the most primal of levels and inspires her to help his people. Alex's battle to heal her patient and her struggle to regain control of her own emotions is paralleled by the story of her brother, a tortured monk who allies himself with the Brethren, a Vatican-sponsored enemy of the Darkyn.

Cold Service
Robert. B. Parker
Penguin Group (USA); March 2005

When Spenser's closest ally, Hawk, is brutally injured and left for dead while protecting booking Luther Gillespie, Spenser embarks on an epic journey to rehabilitate his friend in body and soul. Hawk, always proud, has never been dependent on anyone. Now he is forced to make connections: to the medical technology that will ensure his physical recovery, and to reinforce the tenuous emotional ties he has to those around him.

Spenser quickly learns that the Ukrainian mob is responsible for the hit, but finding a way into their tightly knit circle is not nearly so simple. Their total control of the town of Marshport, from the bodegas to the police force to the mayor's office, isn't just a sign of rampant corruption--it's a form of arrogance that only serves to ignite Hawk's desire to get even. As the body count rises, Spenser is forced to employ some questionable techniques and even more questionable hired guns while redefining his friendship with Hawk in the name of vengeance.

Compiled by: Sanyat Sattar



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