Picks and Pans Review: Great Reads

UPDATED 08/22/2005 at 01:00 AM EDT Originally published 08/22/2005 at 01:00 AM EDT

THRILLERS

DEAD AT DAYBREAK by Deon Meyer. The South African sets this testosterone-infused thriller among mercenaries and other marginal characters in his politically compromised native land. His pacing and dialogue are spot-on.

CLOSE CASE by Alafair Burke. As in Burke's two previous thrillers, Deputy District Attorney Samantha Kincaid (think Jill Hennessy) battles the system to solve a puzzling homicide. Daughter of crime writer James Lee Burke and herself a former deputy DA., the author keeps the plot hurtling along.

DEARLY DEVOTED DEXTER by Jeff Lindsay. In this follow-up to his critically acclaimed Darkly Dreaming Dexter, Lindsay returns to quirky serial killer Dexter Morgan, who's as smart and charming as he is homicidal.

THE MAJORITY RULES by Eugene Sullivan Court TV junkies, take note: Formerly a White House lawyer and General Counsel to the NRO (the spy shop), Sullivan brings an insider's perspective to his tale about deadly corruption in the justice system.

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