Saturday, August 02, 2008

A literary pre-recommendation


There are probably four or five authors on the face of this earth whose books I'm willing to recommend without having first read them. One of those authors is Larry Beinhart. I just had a note from him (how's that for name-dropping, guys? I'm special, nyah, nyah ... but okay, it may have been a form letter) letting me know that his new novel, Salvation Boulevard, hits the stores in September. Here's a "fair use," and therefore partial, synopsis from Publishers Weekly:

When Ahmad Nazami, a Muslim scholarship student at the University of the Southwest, confesses under duress to the murder of Nathaniel MacLeod, an atheist philosophy professor, PI Carl Van Wagener, a born-again Christian, agrees to help Manny Goldfarb, a celebrated Jewish defense lawyer, prove Nazami's innocence.


Beinhart writes a great political thriller. He writes a great mystery. He does a solid "industry insider" story. He can write in first person, present tense without putting me to sleep, and he blurs the fiction/fact line in a way that leaves the reader (this reader, anyway) ... wondering. The obvious example of all these claims is American Hero (and if you've seen "Wag the Dog," don't try to conflate -- you need to read the book). His overtly non-fictional non-fiction is cool, too. I've read all of his published novels, and am entirely comfortable telling you -- with it sight unseen -- that you'll enjoy this one.

So: Ask your local bookstore to stock Salvation Boulevard. Or if you're a lazy Internet junkie, you can pre-order it online instead. Here, I'll help. And no, I'm not being paid or otherwise bribed to post this (although I'll make a few pennies if you click through to buy from Amazon). I just love a good story, Beinhart tells one, and I like to share.

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