LSAT 180

Eric Goodman, Author, Kaplan, Author
Eric Goodman, Author, Kaplan, Author Simon & Schuster $25 (349p) ISBN 978-0-7432-4118-2
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Bestseller Deaver's second story collection (after 2003'sTwisted ) is best enjoyed in small doses, since, as the author states in his preface, each of the 16 suspense tales contains a ""gut-wrenching twist,"" a formulaic final reversal that loses its punch with too much repetition. That said, readers will find a number of clever and concise thrillers. The standout, ""Born Bad,"" about a mother waiting in fear for her estranged daughter to kill her, does a superb job of matching up the clues at the beginning with the tale's resolution. Sherlockians will get a kick from a pastiche narrated in third person, ""The Westphalian Ring,"" pitting Holmes against a crafty jewel thief. In an afterword to the tale ""Afraid,"" Deaver (The Bone Collector ) explains how he works the concept of fear into his fiction.(Jan.)
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