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The Early Word: New Books for the Week of July 15, 2007

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You'll see some intriguing fiction titles in the bookstores this week as you trip over the stacks of the latest Harry Potter novel after it arrives on Saturday, July 21. As for new nonfiction: inexplicably, there's none to be had — so forget about that new how-to book on operating your Acme Anvil, or that compelling History of Spacely Space Sprockets. Considering the upcoming Harry Potter book and this week's current primacy of take-me-away romance, fantasy, and suspense, people just seem to want a little refuge with some escapist summer reads. So read on for a few ideas of inspiration, pageturning captivation, and flights of fancy taking wing…

The Tin Roof Blowdown: A Dave Robicheaux Novel by James Lee Burke

In post-Katrina New Orleans, James Lee Burke has inextricably ensnared his protagonist Detective Dave Robicheaux in a setting immediate and realistic — Burke has always excelled at making Louisiana a vivid setting in his Robicheaux novels — making what my be Burke’s most personal and heartfelt novel yet. As The Tin Roof Blowdown starts, Hurricane Katrina has left the commercial district and residential neighborhoods flush with predators, while the power grid of the city has been destroyed – leaving New Orleans reduced to the level of a third world country in an apocalyptic atmosphere of no law, no order, and no sanctuary for the ill or the helpless. When Robicheaux's department is assigned to investigate the shooting of two looters in a wealthy neighborhood, he learns that they had ransacked the home of New Orleans' most powerful mobster. Now the detective must find the surviving looter before others do, and in the course of doing so he discovers the fate of a morphine-addicted priest who vanished in the ill-fated Ninth Ward trying to rescue his trapped parishioners. The deeply-textured and evocative Tin Roof Blowdown — the 16th entry in the Dave Robicheaux Series — promises to continue Burke’s tradition of character-rich and action-packed suspense.

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (Harry Potter #7) by J. K. Rowling, Mary GrandPre (Illustrator)

Harry who?

MORE IN FICTION:

The River Wife by Jonis Agee

Someone to Love by Jude Deveraux

Up Close and Dangerous by James Lee Burke

The 47th Samurai by Stephen Hunter

Up Close and Dangerous by Linda Howard The Water's Lovely by Ruth Rendell

Last Breath: A Novel of Suspense by Mariah Stewart 

What Matters Most by Luanne Rice

Devil's Labyrinth by John Saul

How to Talk to a Widower by Jonathan Tropper

About Gordon Hauptfleisch