PUBLISHING: THE ART OF THE DEALER

AN INDICTED GALLERY OWNER'S NOVEL, IT SEEMS, IS ALL TOO REALISTIC

Manhattan's demimonde of the 1980s has ravaged many a fictional character, but few as mercilessly as Adrian Sellars, an art gallery owner whose troubles are mounting like so many empty bottles of opening-night Mondavi. Sellars is plagued by a lust for both heroin and a beautiful Harlem drug dealer. His forgery scam is going awry, his partner winds up murdered, and a Japanese mobster is threatening to kill Sellars and his family if he does not deliver a promised Monet.

But it is not the glamorously seedy plot of David Ramus' new thriller, Thief of Light (HarperCollins; 291 pages; $23), that...

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