Alibi V.13 No.21 • May 20-26, 2004 

Speed Reader

The Laws of Invisible Things

Frank Huyler
Henry Holt
hardcover
$25

Huyler, a practicing emergency physician, creates a gripping medical thriller about a mysterious infectious disease and a young doctor's heroic attempts to trace its cause. Poetic and suspenseful, The Laws of Invisible Things is a promising debut from a talented young writer.

The Rule of Four

Ian Caldwell and Dustin Thomason
Dial Press
hardcover
$24

In this tag-team novelistic effort, Caldwell and Thomason put together a story about a quartet of Princeton scholars who analyze an ancient manuscript for embedded secrets about a lost Roman artifact. Think of it as a brainy twist on The Da Vinci Code.

Ideas of Heaven: A Ring of Stories

Joan Silber
W.W. Norton
hardcover
$23.95

Set in different times and places, each of the six connected stories making up Silber's Ideas of Heaven build on and enhance each of its neighbors. By all accounts, Ideas of Heaven is a brief but ingeniously subtle work of grade A fiction.

Sharpe's Escape

Bernard Cornwell
HarperCollins
hardcover
$25.95

Set in Portugal in 1810, Cornwell's latest historical novel contains all the authenticity and adventure of its predecessors. This time out his protagonist, Captain Sharpe, must defend his nation from Napolean's invading army while warding off incompetence and corruption in his own ranks.