Books: City Of Light

By Lauren Belfer

In search of a juicy beach book that you need not be embarrassed to be seen with at the most exclusive resort? Get your hands on City of Light, a full-to-the-brim first novel. Set in turn-of-the-century Buffalo, N.Y.--a city that's being electrified, literally, by the new turbines at Niagara Falls--the book is part mystery and part historical melodrama, fluently mixing fact and fiction, with the sort of Victorian plot devices that guarantee a straight-through, sleepless read. The novel is no Ragtime, but it's close--an operatic potboiler, fat with romance, politics and scandal.

--By Walter Kirn

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