Picks and Pans Review: Worth a Look

UPDATED 09/27/1999 at 01:00 AM EDT Originally published 09/27/1999 at 01:00 AM EDT

THE EDGE Catherine Coulter: In this fast-paced thriller from the author of The Cove, an FBI agent traces the disappearance of his sister, who is researching a new sexual-enhancement drug. (Putnam, $22.95)

EMPIRES OF SAND David Ball: Set in 19th-century Paris and the Sahara, this sweeping historical novel pits two cousins—one a nobleman, the other a soldier—against each other during an expedition in the desert.(Bantam, $23.95)

PATTI SMITH Victor Bockris and Roberta Bayley: A detail-laden bio of the '70s punk-rocker, by writers who were on the scene, probes Smith's provocative persona and her romances with writers Sam Shepard and Jim Carroll. (Simon & Schuster, $25)

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