May 31, 2010 12:00 PM

The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest

by Stieg Larsson |

People PICK

REVIEWED BY ELLEN SHAPIRO

NOVEL

Lisbeth Salander, the ferocious cyber-genius at the heart of Larsson’s sensational Millennium trilogy, begins this final installment in a Swedish hospital with a bullet in her brain. Two doors away is the man she axed in self-defense, her father, Zalachenko, a ruthless KGB defector being protected by secret police. Suspense in the ICU is only the opening act of this labyrinthine thriller, as Salander-who has been falsely charged with murder-and journalist Mikael Blomkvist go after the corrupt officials trying to silence her. A heart-stopping showdown featuring the pint-size Salander, a maniacal killer and a nail gun showcases one of crime fiction’s most unforgettable characters-and cements Larsson’s rep as one of its most passionate and original voices.

Give + Take

by Stona Fitch |

REVIEWED BY SUE CORBETT

NOVEL

This sexy caper about a jazz pianist hits all the right notes. Ross Clifton swipes diamonds from women he meets at hotel lounge gigs-and gives the proceeds to charity. Robin Hood 2.0 is cruising on his secret lifestyle when he hits two speed bumps: His slacker nephew, a teen with felonious tendencies, moves in, and Ross falls for a chanteuse whose second-shift work is even shadier than his. Somebody’s going to get caught-making for a deliciously tense finale.

Foxy

by Pam Grier |

REVIEWED BY IVORY JEFF CLINTON

MEMOIR

The athletic and gorgeous Grier, now 61, always seemed a natural fit to play butt-kicking femmes fatales in such ’70s blaxploitation films as Coffy and Foxy Brown. But this engaging memoir by the actress, currently appearing opposite Queen Latifah in Just Wright, reveals her odds-defying journey from 6-year-old rape victim with a post-traumatic stutter to iconic action hero. Also detailed are her triumph over cancer and her successful comeback in 1997’s Jackie Brown, written for her by Quentin Tarantino. The juiciest part? The clean-living star’s doomed romance with a drug-addled Richard Pryor.

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