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Twenty-two years after he covered a memorable crime as a reporter for the Tampa Tribune, Ace Atkins uses it as the chassis for his latest novel, a propulsive chase narrative called "The Heathens." “After you’ve been up close to it,” Atkins says, “been in a courtroom with Valessa Robinson, a case like that stays with you.” "The Heathens" is Atkins’ 28th novel, and his 11th about Mississippi ...

Few rock 'n' roll legends have had as enduring an impact on multiple generations as Jim Morrison, whose death 50 years ago next month at 27 made him an even bigger cultural icon than when he was alive. Yet, while his six-year tenure as the deep-voiced front man in The Doors created a quintessential template for brooding, bad-boy rock singers clad in leather and oozing primal sex appeal, ...

"Mercury Rising" by Jeff Shesol; W.W. Norton (400 pages, $28.95) ——— "He's back," exulted the Miami News when John Glenn emerged from Friendship 7 after orbiting the Earth three times. America, the Miami Herald implied, was back, as well. The Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung agreed: The free world need "no longer stare as if hypnotized at Soviet space successes with pricks of doubt in their ...

"The Devil May Dance" by Jake Tapper; Little, Brown and Co. (336 pages, $28) ——— Jake Tapper hasn’t strayed too far from his day job for a side hustle. Tapper is the lead Washington anchor for CNN, hosts the weekday news show "The Lead With Jake Tapper" and co-hosts the Sunday morning public affairs program "State of the Union." He gets away from the pressures of covering current politics by ...

"The Newcomer" by Mary Kay Andrews; St. Martin’s Press (448 pages, $28.99) ——— On the rare occasions that I’m driving on the Pinellas barrier islands and spot an OG beach motel — those low-slung, cozy, pastel-painted relics tucked in among the towering condos and raucous bars — I feel a little warm tug of nostalgia for the funky, friendly places I remember. Mary Kay Andrews’ imagination works ...

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