Picks and Pans Review: Critics' Choice

updated 07/10/1989 at 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 07/10/1989 01:00AM

>THE RUSSIA HOUSE Telling a gripping story with surpassing elegance of language, John le Carré creates a novel both for those who believe in the era of glasnost and those who believe in the durability of cynicism. (Knopf)

PLAYMATES

Spenser, the fictional detective who's a veteran of 16 Robert Parker tales, returns—in top form—to investigate a basketball point-shaving scandal. (Putnam)

THE KNIFE AND GUN CLUB Dramatic photographs and insightfully edited interviews make Eugene Richards's report on seven weeks in and around the Denver General Hospital emergency room a fascinating experience. (Atlantic Monthly)

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