5 Fantastic First Novels

Summer is for adventure, so try one of these rookies' splashy books

Every summer a small, élite group of first novels break out and become best sellers. Something in them hits that summer sweet spot between brainy and beachy, causing readers to ditch the Grishams and Pattersons and turn to new voices. Here are five of this summer's most promising debuts. Later you can say you knew them when.

IN THE SHADOW OF THE LAW -- KERMIT ROOSEVELT

It wouldn't be wrong to call In the Shadow of the Law a legal thriller, but it would sell the book short. There are suspenseful, devious plots aplenty--one about a last-minute death-row appeal, another about...

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