Valdosta Daily Times

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May 19, 2013

Cool Summer Reads

- — They don’t have the ad budgets or the hype of summer movies. They lack the radio airplay of summer music.

But summer books have a lot to offer.

Today, The Times presents a sampling of titles, a couple already arrived, others being released in the coming weeks, that should prove cool reads for hot summer days.

A DELICATE TRUTH, John LeCarre, already available. Pushing 80, some might think spymaster John LeCarre would be missing a step or two these days. Such thinkers would be wrong. The author of Cold War-era classics like “Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy” and “Smiley’s People” has lost nothing to either time or the world’s changing geopolitics. After all, more than Russians or terrorists, LeCarre barters in the timeless meat of moral ambiguities, especially from the people and agencies assigned to oversee the free world’s handling of Soviet-era dominance or explosive terrorism. “A Delicate Truth,” LeCarre’s latest novel, continues his explorations into situational ethics. Here, a British minister orders a raid on a site believed to be hiding a known terrorist. Despite their in-the-field judgment against this order, the operatives attack and make a horrible mistake that will haunt them as more becomes known of the ill-fated operation years later. LeCarre’s spy novels are not about James Bond stunts and explosions but rather about the subtle complexities of determining when right is wrong and wrong is right.

INFERNO, Dan Brown, already available. Author Dan Brown is back and so is his Harvard symbology professor Robert Langdon. Brown had an international sensation with “The Da Vinci Code” and blockbusting bestsellers with two other Langdon books, “Angels & Demons” and “The Lost Symbol.” While he likely will never recapture the success, controversy and phenomenon of “The Da Vinci Code,” Brown continues casting a spell with a likable character who delves into ancient and arcane mysteries. This time, Brown’s Langdon enters the circles of hell as he unravels an historical mystery surrounding Dante’s “Inferno.”

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