BOOKS: Chaos Theory

Danish novelist Peter Hoeg turns to rebellious orphans

The publishing sleeper of 1993 proved to be, rather surprisingly, a , translation from the Danish. Peter Hoeg's Smilla's Sense of Snow enchanted reviewers and book buyers alike with its suspense -- a wise woman detective tries to track down a child's murderer -- and its eerie rendering of the landscapes and atmosphere of Greenland. This intense but accessible philosophical thriller spurred considerable interest in what Hoeg, 37, would do for an encore.

The first answer is that he has done something quite different and not nearly as engaging. Borderliners (Farrar, Straus & Giroux; 277 pages; $22) opens with a question...

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