Books

He Planted a Bomb That Never Went Off. He Was Executed Anyway.

TOMORROW THEY WON’T DARE TO MURDER USBy Joseph AndrasTranslated by Simon Leser France has never been very good at grappling with its colonial past. Among the most stubborn ghosts to haunt the contemporary republic is the brutal war it waged in Algeria, its former colony, from 1954 to 1962. After the conflict, France long denied […]

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16 New Books to Watch For in March

‘Children Under Fire: An American Crisis,’ by John Woodrow Cox (Ecco, March 30) Over the past 10 years, 15,000 children have been killed by gunfire, and countless more have been devastated by its consequences. Cox, a reporter at The Washington Post, focuses on the emotional toll of gun violence in the United States — one […]

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The Merit, Thrills, Boredom and Fear of Police Work

TANGLED UP IN BLUE Policing the American CityBy Rosa Brooks WE OWN THIS CITY A True Story of Crime, Cops, and Corruption By Justin Fenton In late 2015, I interviewed several young police officers over lunch in the middle of their patrol shift. We were near St. Louis, not far from Ferguson, where the year […]

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Public Libraries, Life Without Parole and Other Letters to the Editor

Off the Shelves To the Editor: The blurb for Brooke Barker’s terrific Sketchbook of neighborhood “little free libraries” (Jan. 10) says that “you can still borrow books for free even when public libraries are closed.” While the sketch is a wonderful advertisement for little free libraries — which I, as a librarian, fully support — […]

Books

CRIME

CRIME BLACK WIDOWS by Cate Quinn (Orion £12.99, 480 pp) BLACK WIDOWS  by Cate Quinn (Orion £12.99, 480 pp) This serpentine, elegant debut from an acclaimed historical novelist starts with an intriguing premise. Blake Nelson, a Mormon — though he prefers to call himself a Latter-Day Saint — has married three women and lives with […]

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LITERARY FICTION

LITERARY FICTION THE STRAYS OF PARIS by Jane Smiley (Mantle £16.99, 272 pp) THE STRAYS OF PARIS  by Jane Smiley (Mantle £16.99, 272 pp) According to its Pulitzer Prize-winning author, this fable was written to provide some much-needed distraction. It succeeds magnificently: this is sunshine in book form. We begin with Paras, a French racehorse, […]

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Held Hostage in Syria, a Reporter Tells What It Took to Survive

BLINDFOLDA Memoir of Capture, Torture, and EnlightenmentBy Theo Padnos In the fall of 2012, Theo Padnos was down and out in Antakya. An American freelance reporter in his early 40s, he was bunking at a grotty guesthouse in this town in southern Turkey on the border with Syria. Magazine editors were ignoring his emails. His […]

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Roberto Bolaño Recenters His Mythic World

COWBOY GRAVESThree NovellasBy Roberto BolañoTranslated by Natasha Wimmer Emily Dickinson asked her sister, Vinnie, to burn her papers after she died. For Kafka, it was his friend Max Brod. Philip Larkin assigned the job to a professional, the distinguished editor and poet Anthony Thwaite. But no formal code of ethics covers the work of literary […]