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by Anita Shreve |


People PICK


Shreve’s bestsellers (The Pilot’s Wife, The Weight of Water) often center on the idea that one critical moment can change a life forever. In Rescue, that moment is a literal collision. When rookie paramedic Peter Webster pries an unresponsive woman from a mangled Cadillac on a lonely Vermont highway, an obsession is born that will wreak havoc on his khaki-clean world. The crash victim, Sheila Arsenault, a rough-edged beauty on the run from an abusive boyfriend, is a walking T-R-O-U-B-L-E sign. But Webster, well-developed savior complex in overdrive, takes her under his wing and falls haplessly in love. A cycle of bliss and betrayal ensues-until Sheila, by now a new mom, takes her Bacardi habit over the edge. With the insistent thrum of life-and-death EMT calls as background, Shreve’s vividly told tale captures the deep-seated fears of mortality and loneliness that can drive us to test the bounds of family and forgiveness.

Of Love and Evil

by Anne Rice |



The seraphim are back in Rice’s latest metaphysical thriller, set this time in 15th-century Rome, where former assassin Toby O’Dare is trying to reconnect with the love of his life. But just as things get interesting, he’s summoned again by angel Malchiah to solve a horrific crime. Rice knows how to tell a story, and this one’s a lot of fun: In the course of his sleuthing, O’Dare meets a New Age-spouting demon, a poltergeist-like dybbuk who crashes chandeliers and throws benches, and a poisoner with an axe to grind. Though Rice announced last summer that she was renouncing Christianity (saying she could no longer be “anti-gay,” “anti-feminist” and “anti- science”), she still gives her angels their due, philosophizing about mercy, justice, love and the role of God. “I will need you ’til the end of time,” Malchiah tells O’Dare, and Rice’s knock-your-socks-off cliffhanger ending leaves no doubt that this series has wings.