Picks and Pans Review: The Light of Day

UPDATED 06/09/2003 at 01:00 AM EDT Originally published 06/09/2003 at 01:00 AM EDT

By Graham Swift

George Webb's father worked as a wedding photographer. George, though, is much the opposite: a private detective who takes photographs of adulterous spouses on their way to divorce. When one of his cases ends in murder, he finds himself falling in love with the murderess. This taut thriller gradually becomes a fine-tuned investigation of how even our simplest, most personal choices can spiral uncontrollably outward. Booker Prize-winner Swift (Last Orders) writes short, declarative sentences that do the work of entire oratories: "Make a little do for a lot. Don't expect much. This may be all you get." Readers, though, will get everything they could hope for. (Knopf, $24)

BOTTOM LINE: Luminous

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