cover image L’Assassin


Peter Steiner, . . St. Martin?s Minotaur/Dunne, $24.95 (277pp) ISBN 978-0-312-37342-9

Literate crime thrillers don’t get much better than New Yorker cartoonist Steiner’s intricately plotted sequel to his well-received debut, A French Country Murder (2003). Ex-CIA officer Louis Morgon’s idyllic life in the French village of Saint-Léon sur Dême is destroyed when his girlfriend Solesme Lefourier’s cancer returns and his policeman pal Jean Renard becomes the target of Louis’s enemy from the first book, former U.S. secretary of state Hugh Bowes. After a particularly inept thief burglarizes Louis’s house, Louis slowly comes to realize this is not an isolated incident but part of a master plan set in motion by the revenge-seeking Bowes. Soon Louis is on the run, branded by the American government as a terrorist and confidant of Osama bin Laden. Canny and brave, Louis is more than up to the task of defending himself from the cruel and loathsome Bowes. (July)