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Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Return to Russia

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As Russia shakes off the torpor of the ’90s and resumes its place as an economic power, a new thriller by Brent Ghelfi returns readers to the seedy underbelly of post-Soviet society. In Volk’s Shadow—a sequel to Ghelfi’s 2007 book Volk’s Game—the grim, battle-hardened anti-hero of the first story returns, this time in search of a Faberg egg that turns out to be a red herring in a deeper plot concerning atrocities carried out in Russia’s war in Chechnya. Again Volk nimbly serves two masters—a shady, pint-sized general and a mafia kingpin—blithely walking the line between crime and military to reveal the corruption and betrayal endemic to Russian society and politics of the time. Ghelfi comes to Mystery One on July 17 at 7 p.m.

  Also coming to Milwaukee this week is New York Times best-selling author Christina Schwarz, who hails from Wisconsin. Once again she uses the region’s landscape as an evocative backdrop in her new book, So Long at the Fair. Moving between a fateful day in 1963 and the present time, she describes the intricate complexities of human relationships; the excitement of new love pitted against the reassurance of long-established affections; the desire to pull away from obligation competing with the need to maintain the status quo. Schwarz comes to the Harry W. Schwartz Bookshop in Mequon on July 22 at 7 pm.

  Finally, Meg WaiteClayton’s new book looks at the bonds that tie together five women of diverse personalities. In The Wednesday Sisters she tells the story of a group of women living in California during the late ’60s whose shared love for literature helps them look beyond their quiet, diminutive lives. As life throws them curveballs and history passes before their eyes—the Vietnam War, the space race, the rise of feminism—each is forced to assess the values in which their lives are grounded. Clayton comes to the Harry W. Schwartz Bookshop in Brookfield on July 23 at 7 p.m.

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