September 10, 2001 12:00 PM

by Michael Malone

Page-turner of the week

Laura Bush is nowhere to be found in this southern mystery, which features a philandering North Carolina governor, his wife, a beautiful Irish rock star and a pair of sharp homicide detectives whom Malone resurrects from his 1983 novel Uncivil Seasons. The plot follows dual threads: the search for a serial killer and the murder trial of a college professor. The book’s narrator, police lieutenant Justin Savile V, suffers from boring self-pity, but his boss, the Elvis-worshiping Cuddy Mangum, provides a satisfying counterpoint. Least interesting: the “Guess Who” killer, on whom Malone bestows a predictably brilliant mind. Enough already with the Mensa-smart serial murderers. (SourceBooks, $24)

Bottom Line: A lady worth courting

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