THE SHAPE OF SNAKES

Minette Walters, Author . Putnam $24.95 (352p) ISBN 978-0-399-14733-3

For 20 years Mrs. Ranelagh has quietly collected evidence about the suspicious death of her neighbor, a black woman known as "Mad Annie," whose body was found in the gutter one evening. London police concluded that Annie was hit by a passing truck. But Ranelagh—now armed with letters, statements and testimonials from both official and nonofficial sources—is convinced she was beaten to death in a fury of racial hatred. Moreover, she suspects that one of her neighbors, or even her husband, Sam, may have been the killer. From such an intriguingly simple setup springs another searingly narrated psychological drama by Edgar-winner Walters in which manners and other forms of propriety slowly give way to raw, ugly emotion. Ranelagh, the story's narrator, is a middle-aged woman whose restrained public persona masks a bitter, unsparing nature driven by a life of disappointment and futility. She herself was scarred by Annie's death, terrorized in the months following for being a "nigger lover" and publicly doubting the police version. Not only does she want to find out who killed Annie, she wants personal revenge. One by one, she confronts her old neighbors—a disparate cast of losers and social climbers—now spread across the London area. Ranelagh's search, however, turns into not only a quest for justice but an agonizing odyssey that forces to the surface painful truths about herself and her family. Keeping track of all the players can be a challenge. Yet Walters (The Sculptress; The Ice House) has again created a consuming main character in Ranelagh and a tightly coiled plot that whiplashes with cruel efficiency. (July)

Forecast:Walters has been likened to Ruth Rendell and P.D. James, and the comparison is appropriate. Though she doesn't yet have their name recognition, an author tour will help build her profile, as should excellent word of mouth.

Reviewed on: 06/18/2001
Release date: 07/01/2001
Mass Market Paperbound - 384 pages - 978-0-515-13306-6
Compact Disc - 978-0-7540-5429-0
Analog Audio Cassette - 978-0-7540-0657-2
Acrobat Ebook Reader - 352 pages - 978-0-7865-2138-8
Paperback - 370 pages - 978-0-307-27711-4
Open Ebook - 256 pages - 978-0-307-49784-0
Open Ebook - 500 pages - 978-0-330-52884-9
Hardcover - 500 pages - 978-1-58724-156-7
Paperback - 423 pages - 978-1-4472-0798-6
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EVAL ERROR: syntax error at (eval 7593) line 207, near ""Read more about "$ENV"
Global symbol "$author" requires explicit package name at (eval 7593) line 207.
Global symbol "$html_title" requires explicit package name at (eval 7593) line 211.
Global symbol "$html_title" requires explicit package name at (eval 7593) line 211.
Global symbol "$default_title" requires explicit package name at (eval 7593) line 211.
Global symbol "$meta_description" requires explicit package name at (eval 7593) line 212.
Global symbol "$meta_description" requires explicit package name at (eval 7593) line 212.
Global symbol "$default_description" requires explicit package name at (eval 7593) line 212.
Global symbol "$meta_keywords" requires explicit package name at (eval 7593) line 213.
Global symbol "$meta_keywords" requires explicit package name at (eval 7593) line 213.
Global symbol "$default_keywords" requires explicit package name at (eval 7593) line 213.
Global symbol "$html_title" requires explicit package name at (eval 7593) line 215.
Global symbol "$meta_description" requires explicit package name at (eval 7593) line 216.
Global symbol "$meta_description" requires explicit package name at (eval 7593) line 217.
Global symbol "$meta_description" requires explicit package name at (eval 7593) line 218.
Global symbol "$meta_description" requires explicit package name at (eval 7593) line 219.
Global symbol "$meta_description" requires explicit package name at (eval 7593) line 220.
Global symbol "$twitter_description" requires explicit package name at (eval 7593) line 221.
Global symbol "$twitter_description" requires explicit package name at (eval 7593) line 222.
Global symbol "$twitter_description" requires explicit package name at (eval 7593) line 223.
Global symbol "$twitter_description" requires explicit package name at (eval 7593) line 224.
Global symbol "$meta_keywords" requires explicit package name at (eval 7593) line 225.
Global symbol "$html_title" requires explicit package name at (eval 7593) line 227.
Global symbol "$meta_keywords" requires explicit package name at (eval 7593) line 228.
Global symbol "$meta_description" requires explicit package name at (eval 7593) line 229.
Global symbol "$last_modified" requires explicit package name at (eval 7593) line 230.
Global symbol "$last_modified" requires explicit package name at (eval 7593) line 231.
Global symbol "$html_title" requires explicit package name at (eval 7593) line 234.
Global symbol "$default_image" requires explicit package name at (eval 7593) line 235.
Global symbol "$meta_description" requires explicit package name at (eval 7593) line 236.
Global symbol "$twitter_creator" requires explicit package name at (eval 7593) line 241.
Global symbol "$twitter_creator" requires explicit package name at (eval 7593) line 242.
Global symbol "$twitter_title" requires explicit package name at (eval 7593) line 244.
Global symbol "$twitter_description" requires explicit package name at (eval 7593) line 245.
Global symbol "$default_image" requires explicit package name at (eval 7593) line 246.
syntax error at (eval 7593) line 260, near "}
 }"
(eval 7593) has too many errors.

Code:
line 1: package tmpevalpackage;
line 2: sub doEval { 
line 3: 	my(@sel,%data,$html_title,$meta_description,$meta_keywords,$default_title,$default_description,$default_keywords,$last_modified);
line 4: 	my($twitter_creator,$twitter_title,$twitter_description);
line 5: 	
line 6: 	$default_title = 'Book Reviews, Bestselling Books & Publishing Business News | Publishers Weekly';
line 7: 	$default_keywords = 'book news, book reviews, bestselling books, book bestsellers, book publishing, best selling books, list of books, book business, publishing business';
line 8: 	$default_description = 'Publishers Weekly is the international news website of book publishing and bookselling including business news, reviews, bestseller lists, commentaries and more.';
line 9: 	
line 10: 	my $default_image = "http://www.publishersweekly.com/images/data/IMG/img/000/000/1-3.PNG";
line 11: 	
line 12: 	# try the topic (or subtopic)
line 13: 	if($LayoutManager::url_resolved_values{'TOPIC_TREE.nickname'}) {
line 14: 		&Database::GetParentRow($LayoutManager::url_resolved_values{'TOPIC_TREE.nickname'},\%data);
line 15: 		if($data{'html_title'}) { $html_title = $data{'html_title'}; };
line 16: 		if($data{'meta_description'}) { $meta_description = $data{'meta_description'}; };
line 17: 		if($data{'meta_keywords'}) { $meta_keywords = $data{'meta_keywords'}; };
line 18: 
line 19: 		# we are in a subtopic get the topic and fill in missing fields
line 20: 		if($LayoutManager::url_values{'TOPIC'}) { 
line 21: 			&Database::Select('TOPIC_TREE','nickname',$LayoutManager::url_values{'TOPIC'},\@sel);
line 22: 			if(@sel == 1) {
line 23: 				&Database::GetRow($sel[0],'TOPIC_TREE',\%data);
line 24: 				if($data{'html_title'} && !$html_title) { $html_title = $data{'html_title'}; }
line 25: 				if($data{'meta_description'} && !$meta_description) { $meta_description = $data{'meta_description'}; }
line 26: 				if($data{'meta_keywords'} && !$meta_keywords) { $meta_keywords = $data{'meta_keywords'}; }
line 27: 			}
line 28: 		}
line 29: 	}
line 30: 
line 31: 	# fill in missing info from page
line 32: 	if($LayoutManager::url_resolved_values{'PAGE.description'}) {
line 33: 		&Database::GetParentRow($LayoutManager::url_resolved_values{'PAGE.description'},\%data);
line 34: 		if(!$html_title) { $html_title = $data{'html_title'}; };
line 35: 		if(!$meta_description) { $meta_description = $data{'meta_description'}; };
line 36: 		if(!$meta_keywords) { $meta_keywords = $data{'meta_keywords'}; };
line 37: 	}
line 38: 	
line 39: 	# article takes precidence over topic and subtopic
line 40: 	if($LayoutManager::url_resolved_values{'ARTICLE.nickname'}) {
line 41: 		&Database::GetParentRow($LayoutManager::url_resolved_values{'ARTICLE.nickname'},\%data);
line 42: 		$html_title = $data{'headline'};
line 43: 		if($data{'title_web'}) { $html_title = $data{'title_web'}; $twitter_title = $data{'title_web'}; };
line 44: 		if($data{'html_title'}) { $html_title = $data{'html_title'}; };
line 45: 		if($data{'abstract_web'}) { $meta_description = $data{'abstract_web'}; $twitter_description = $data{'abstract_web'}; };
line 46: 		if($data{'meta_description'}) { $meta_description = $data{'meta_description'}; };
line 47: 		if($data{'meta_keywords'}) { $meta_keywords = $data{'meta_keywords'}; };
line 48: 		$last_modified = &GetLastModified($data{'pub_date'});
line 49: 		
line 50: 		my($canonical,%topic_data,%sub_topic_data,%issue_data);
line 51: 		if($data{'the_topic'}) {
line 52: 			&Database::GetRow($data{'the_topic'},'TOPIC_TREE',\%sub_topic_data);
line 53: 			&Database::GetParentRow($sub_topic_data{'parent'},\%topic_data);
line 54: 			$canonical = "http://www.publishersweekly.com/pw/by-topic/$topic_data{'nickname'}/$sub_topic_data{'nickname'}/article/$data{'nickname'}.html";
line 55: 		}
line 56: 		else {
line 57: 			if($data{'issue'}) {
line 58: 				&Database::GetRow($data{'issue'},'ISSUE',\%issue_data);
line 59: 				$canonical = "http://www.publishersweekly.com/pw/print/$issue_data{'date'}/$data{'nickname'}.html";
line 60: 			}
line 61: 		}
line 62: 		if($data{'the_photo'}) {
line 63: 			my(%image_data);
line 64: 			&Database::GetRow($data{'the_photo'},'ARTICLE_PHOTO',\%image_data);
line 65: 			if($image_data{'photo__file'}) {
line 66: 				$default_image = "http://www.publishersweekly.com/images/data/$image_data{'photo__file'}";
line 67: 			}
line 68: 		}
line 69: 		if($canonical) {
line 70: 			&Templates::SetMeta("<link rel=\"canonical\" href=\"$canonical\" />");
line 71: 		}
line 72: 	}
line 73: 
line 74: 	# reviews by ISBN
line 75: 	if($LayoutManager::url_values{'ISBN'}) {
line 76: 		my($isbn,@sel,$work,%issue_data);
line 77: 		$isbn = $LayoutManager::url_values{'ISBN'};
line 78: 		
line 79: 		$isbn =~ s/\-//g;
line 80: 		$default_image = "https://booklife.com/image-factory/http/localhost/amazongetcover/$isbn.jpg/w204.jpg";
line 81: 
line 82: 		&Database::Select('WORK_INSTANCE','isbn_std',$isbn,\@sel);
line 83: 
line 84: 		if(@sel) {
line 85: 			$work = $sel[0];
line 86: 			@sel = ();
line 87: 			&Database::Select('REVIEW','book',$work,\@sel);
line 88: 			
line 89: 			# my $root = "images/cached/INGRAM";
line 90: 			# my $row_path = $isbn;
line 91: 			# $row_path =~ s/^(...)(...)(...)(.*)/$1\/$2\/$3/;
line 92: 
line 93: 			# if(-e "/disk02/PW/htdocs/$root/$row_path/$isbn\.jpg"){
line 94: 			#	 $default_image = "http://www.publishersweekly.com/$root/$row_path/$isbn\.jpg";
line 95: 			# }
line 96: 			
line 97: 			if(@sel) {
line 98: 				&Database::FetchRow($sel[0],'REVIEW',\%data);
line 99: 				my($tmp) = $data{'info_line'};
line 100: 				$tmp =~ s/<[^>]+>//g;
line 101: 				$html_title = "$data{'category'} Book Review: $data{'title'} by $tmp";
line 102: 				$meta_description = substr($data{'body'},0,200);
line 103: 				if($data{'pub_date'}) {
line 104: 					$last_modified = &GetLastModified($data{'pub_date'});
line 105: 				}
line 106: 				else {
line 107: 					&Database::GetRow($data{'issue-UNRESOLVED'},'ISSUE',\%issue_data);
line 108: 					$last_modified = &GetLastModified($issue_data{'date'});
line 109: 				}
line 110: 
line 111: 				$twitter_creator = '@publisherswkly';
line 112: 				$twitter_title = $data{'title'};
line 113: 				$twitter_description = $meta_description;
line 114: 			}
line 115: 		}
line 116: 	}
line 117: 	
line 118: 	# reviews
line 119: 	if($LayoutManager::url_resolved_rows{'REVIEW.nickname'}) {
line 120: 		my(%issue_data);
line 121: 		&Database::FetchRow($LayoutManager::url_resolved_rows{'REVIEW.nickname'},'REVIEW',\%data);
line 122: 		my($tmp) = $data{'info_line'};
line 123: 		$tmp =~ s/<[^>]+>//g;
line 124: 		$html_title = "$data{'category'} Review: $data{'title'} by $tmp";
line 125: 		$meta_description = substr($data{'body'},0,200);
line 126: 		
line 127: 		$twitter_creator = '@publisherswkly';
line 128: 		$twitter_title = $data{'title'};
line 129: 		$twitter_description = $meta_description;
line 130: 		
line 131: 		if($data{'pub_date'}) {
line 132: 			$last_modified = &GetLastModified($data{'pub_date'});
line 133: 		}
line 134: 		else {
line 135: 			&Database::GetRow($data{'issue-UNRESOLVED'},'ISSUE',\%issue_data);
line 136: 			$last_modified = &GetLastModified($issue_data{'date'});
line 137: 		}
line 138: 
line 139: 		if($data{'book-UNRESOLVED'}){
line 140: 			my (%instance_data);
line 141: 			&Database::GetRow($data{'book-UNRESOLVED'},'WORK_INSTANCE',\%instance_data);
line 142: 			
line 143: 			my $tmpisbn = $instance_data{'isbn_std'};
line 144: 			$tmpisbn =~ s/\-//g;
line 145: 			$default_image = "https://booklife.com/image-factory/http/localhost/amazongetcover/$tmpisbn.jpg/w204.jpg";
line 146: 
line 147: 			# my $root = "images/cached/INGRAM";
line 148: 			# my $row_path = $instance_data{'isbn_std'};
line 149: 			# $row_path =~ s/^(...)(...)(...)(.*)/$1\/$2\/$3/;
line 150: 	
line 151: 			# if(-e "/disk02/PW/htdocs/$root/$row_path/$instance_data{'isbn_std'}\.jpg"){
line 152: 			# 	$default_image = "http://www.publishersweekly.com/$root/$row_path/$instance_data{'isbn_std'}\.jpg";
line 153: 			# }
line 154: 		}
line 155: 	}
line 156: 
line 157: 	if($Templates::in{'channel'} && $Templates::in{'podcast'}) {
line 158: 		my(%podcast_data);
line 159: 		&Database::GetRow($Templates::in{'podcast'},'PODCAST',\%podcast_data);
line 160: 		$html_title = $podcast_data{'title'};
line 161: 		if($podcast_data{'description'}) { $meta_description = $podcast_data{'description'}; }
line 162: 		if($podcast_data{'image__file'}) {
line 163: 			$default_image = "http://www.publishersweekly.com/images/data/$podcast_data{'image__file'}";
line 164: 		}
line 165: 		$last_modified = &GetLastModified($podcast_data{'date_posted'});
line 166: 	}
line 167: 	
line 168: 	if($Templates::path =~ /\/bookit\//) {
line 169: 		if($Templates::in{'record'}) {
line 170: 			my(%data);
line 171: 			&Database::GetRow($Templates::in{'record'},'MARKETING_CALL',\%data);
line 172: 			$html_title = "$data{'headline'} | Publishers Weekly";
line 173: 		}
line 174: 		else {
line 175: 			$html_title = "BookIt | Publishers Weekly";	
line 176: 		}
line 177: 	}
line 178: 	if($Templates::path =~ /\/newsbrief\//) {
line 179: 		if($Templates::in{'record'}) {
line 180: 			my(%data);
line 181: 			&Database::GetRow($Templates::in{'record'},'NEWS_BRIEFS',\%data);
line 182: 			$html_title = "$data{'headline'}";
line 183: 			$twitter_title = "$data{'headline'}";
line 184: 			$meta_description = "$data{'abstract'}";
line 185: 			$twitter_description = "$data{'abstract'}";
line 186: 			if($data{'image__file'}) {
line 187: 				$default_image = "http://www.publishersweekly.com/images/data/$data{'image__file'}";
line 188: 			}
line 189: 		}
line 190: 		else {
line 191: 			$html_title = "BookIt | Publishers Weekly";	
line 192: 		}
line 193: 	}
line 194: 
line 195: 	if($Templates::path =~ /\/charlie\//) {
line 196: 			$html_title = "Publishers Weekly's Tribute to Freedom of Expression";
line 197: 			$twitter_title = "Publishers Weekly's Tribute to Freedom of Expression";
line 198: 			$meta_description = "Find out how to participate in a special section of the January 19 issue of Publishers Weekly and raise money for international nonprofits dedicated to freedom of expression.";
line 199: 			$twitter_description = "Find out how to participate in a special section of the January 19 issue of Publishers Weekly and raise money for international nonprofits dedicated to freedom of expression.";
line 200: 	}
line 201: 	
line 202: 	if($Templates::path =~ /\/authorpage\//) {
line 203: 		my $author = $LayoutManager::url_values{'AUTHORNAME'};
line 204: 		$author =~ s/-/ /g;
line 205: 		$author =~ s/([\w']+)/\u\L$1/g;
line 206: 		$html_title = "Books by $author and Complete Book Reviews";
line 207: 		$meta_description = "Read more about "" and other books by $author";
line 208: 	}
line 209: 
line 210: 	# use defailts is nothing else found
line 211: 	if(!$html_title) { $html_title = $default_title; };
line 212: 	if(!$meta_description) { $meta_description = $default_description; };
line 213: 	if(!$meta_keywords) { $meta_keywords = $default_keywords; };
line 214: 	
line 215: 	$html_title =~ s/\"//g;
line 216: 	$meta_description =~ s/\"//g;
line 217: 	$meta_description =~ s/<\/[^>]*>//g;
line 218: 	$meta_description =~ s/<[^>]*>//g;
line 219: 	$meta_description =~ s/<\/[^>]*//g;
line 220: 	$meta_description =~ s/<[^>]*//g;
line 221: 	$twitter_description =~ s/<\/[^>]*>//g;		
line 222: 	$twitter_description =~ s/<[^>]*>//g;
line 223: 	$twitter_description =~ s/<\/[^>]*//g;		
line 224: 	$twitter_description =~ s/<[^>]*//g;		
line 225: 	$meta_keywords =~ s/\"//g;
line 226: 	
line 227: 	&Templates::SetTitle($html_title);
line 228: 	&Templates::SetMeta("<meta name=\"keywords\" content=\"$meta_keywords\">");
line 229: 	&Templates::SetMeta("<meta name=\"description\" content=\"$meta_description\">");
line 230: 	if($last_modified) {
line 231: 		&Templates::SetMeta("<meta http-equiv=\"last-modified\" content=\"$last_modified\">");	
line 232: 	}
line 233: 	&Templates::SetMeta("<meta property=\"og:type\" content=\"article\"/>"); 
line 234: 	&Templates::SetMeta("<meta property=\"og:title\" content=\"$html_title\"/>"); 
line 235: 	&Templates::SetMeta("<meta property=\"og:image\" content=\"$default_image\"/>"); 
line 236: 	&Templates::SetMeta("<meta property=\"og:description\" content=\"$meta_description\"/>");
line 237: 	&Templates::SetMeta("<meta property=\"og:site_name\" content=\"PublishersWeekly.com\"/>"); 
line 238: 
line 239: 	&Templates::SetMeta("<meta name=\"twitter:card\" content=\"summary\"/>");		
line 240: 	&Templates::SetMeta("<meta name=\"twitter:site\" content=\"\@publisherswkly\"/>");		
line 241: 	if($twitter_creator){
line 242: 		&Templates::SetMeta("<meta name=\"twitter:creator\" content=\"$twitter_creator\"/>");			
line 243: 	}
line 244: 	&Templates::SetMeta("<meta name=\"twitter:title\" content=\"$twitter_title\"/>");
line 245: 	&Templates::SetMeta("<meta name=\"twitter:description\" content=\"$twitter_description\"/>");			
line 246: 	&Templates::SetMeta("<meta name=\"twitter:image\" content=\"$default_image\"/>"); 
line 247: 
line 248: 	
line 249: 	sub GetLastModified {
line 250: 		my($timestamp) = @_;
line 251: 		
line 252: 		my($mod);
line 253: 		
line 254: 		if(length($timestamp > 8)) {
line 255: 			$mod = substr($timestamp,0,4) . '-' . substr($timestamp,4,2) . '-' . substr($timestamp,6,2);
line 256: 		}
line 257: 		
line 258: 		return $mod;
line 259: 	}
line 260:  };
line 261: &doEval();
line 262: 1;