Alibi V.13 No.31 • July 29-Aug 4, 2004 

Speed Reader

Madman's Tale

John Katzenbach
Ballantine Books
hardcover
$24.95

In Katzenbach's latest, the bestselling author spins a murder mystery set in an insane asylum in which a pair of patients sets out to find a perpetrator who raped and mutilated a young nurse. Sounds gruesome, but advance readers have said Madman's Tale is an uplifting tale starring some courageous, unlikely heroes.

Transmission

Hari Kunzru
Dutton Books
hardcover
$24.95

In a follow-up to his well-received debut novel, The Impressionists, Kunzru wrangles with the joys and perils of hyper-consumerism in modern California. Kunzru's protagonist is a gullible East Indian immigrant who looses a computer virus into the network of a former employer in an elaborate attempt to get his old job back.

Mortal Love

Elizabeth Hand
William Morrow
hardcover
$24.95

In this deeply weird black fantasy, Hand braids three story lines into a peculiar tale about a supernatural feminine force that recurs throughout history, driving artists and dreamers mad with its (her?) blistering erotic force. Advance word is that Mortal Love should appeal to readers who normally wouldn't touch a fantasy novel with a 10-foot wand.

Ordinary Wolves

Seth Kantner
Milkweed Editions
hardcover
$22

By most accounts, this debut novel manages to tread the difficult line between good storytelling and environmental advocacy without stumbling. The tale of a white boy raised in the Alaskan wilderness struggling to cope with mainstream urban American culture shows a lot of promise.