Just in

1. Magic Seeds by VS Naipaul, published by Vintage, pp 280, price Rs 400

2. The Godfather Returns by Mark Winegardner, published by Ballantine books, pp 448, price Rs 425

3. London Bridges by James Patterson, published by Headline, pp 417, price Rs 350

4. Memorial Day by Vince Flynn, published by Pocket books, pp 416, price Rs 450

5. The Broker by John Grisham, published by Dell books, pp 362, price Rs 425

What the books are about:

Magic Seeds :

At the end of Half a Life, Naipaul’s previous novel, Willie, a young Indian in late 1950s London, travels to Africa. At the beginning of his new novel, Willie is in Berlin with his bossy sister, Sarojini. It is 18 years later. Revolution has uprooted Willie’s African existence. Sarojini hooks him up with a guerrilla group in India, and Willie, always ready to be moulded to some cause, returns to India. The guerrillas, Willie soon learns, are “absolute maniacs”. But caught up, as ever, in the energy of others, Willie stays with them for seven years. He then surrenders and is tossed into the relative comfort of jail. When an old London friend (a lawyer named Roger) gets Willie’s book of short stories republished, Willie’s imprisonment becomes an embarrassment to the authorities. Naipaul is a modern master of the multiple ironies of resentment, the claustrophobia of the margins. In a world in which terrorism continually haunts the headlines, Naipaul’s work is indispensable.

The Godfather Returns:

When Random announced that Winegardner, best known for the critically acclaimed mainstream saga Crooked River Burning and baseball novel The Veracruz Blues, had been hired to write a fresh Godfather novel, eyebrows arched from coast to coast. But the decision was right: this is a phenomenally entertaining, psychologically rich saga that spans the entire Godfather years imagined in novel and film by Mario Puzo, filling in the blanks, fleshing out the characters, focusing primarily on the time (mid 1950s-early ‘60s) between when Puzo’s landmark novel ended and the film Godfather II begins. Winegardner brings enormous talent to bear on this popular story and its immense cast of characters, deepening Puzo’s work at nearly every step. There are many new and newly fleshed out characters. Godfather fans will love this tale; Puzo himself must be raising a celestial glass and shouting a hearty “Salut’!” Winegardnershall henceforth be known as a Man of Honor.

London Bridges:

Alex Cross is on vacation when he gets the call. A city in Nevada has been annihilated and the Russian super-criminal known as the Wolf is claiming responsibility. In a matter of hours, Cross is catapulted into an international chase of astonishing danger. Arriving in London to join forces with Scotland Yard and Interpol, Alex fights his way through a torrent of false leads, impersonators and foreign agents before he gets close to the heart of the crimes. Then, in the most unforgettable finale James Patterson has ever written, Alex Cross confronts the truth of the Wolf’s identity - a revelation that even Cross himself may be unable to survive.

Memorial Day:

When a spike in CIA intelligence suggests a major terrorist attack planned for Memorial Day, the president orders Mitch Rapp, his top counterterrorism operative, to pull out all the stops. Rapp heads for Afghanistan where he leads a secret Special Forces unit on a daring commando raid across the border into northern Pakistan. Their target: an Al Qaeda stronghold. Within a subterranean room, they discover a treasure trove of maps, computers, files and bills of lading for multiple freighters heading to US ports — all pointing to plans for a catastrophic attack on Washington DC. Information is relayed back to CIA headquarters, and a nuclear emergency search team scrambles to the scene. To Rapp, the whole operation seemed just a bit too easy. He makes a truly terrifying discovery — and with Memorial Day closing fast, he must find a way to prevent a disaster of unimaginable proportions ...

The Broker:

Readers will find an amiable travelogue to Italy and its charms in Grisham’s latest. What they won’t find are the suspense and inspired plotting that have made the author one of the world’s bestselling writers. Yet Grisham remains a smooth storyteller, and few will fail to finish this oddball tale of what happens to ruined DC powerbroker Joel Blackman, 52, when he’s suddenly released from federal prison after six years. Teddy Maynard, legendary CIA director, has engineered the release in order to put Joel into a variant of the witness protection programme and then see who kills him.

Information courtesy: UNITED BOOKS, Ganesh Man Singh building, Thamel, ph: 4229 512, Bluebird stores in Lazimpat & Tripureshwore, ph: 4245 726, Namaste Supermarket in Pulchowk, ph: 5525 017 & Momo and More, Old Baneshwor