“Under The Never Sky” by Veronica Rossi, “KBL: Kill Bin Laden” by John Weisman, “Ninth” is a Jack Reacher, and “Lassiter” by Paul Levine

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The best Christmas-Holiday/insert your favorite politically correct celebration held in December here—gift you can get for the reader in your life isn’t going to hit bookstore shelves until January 3, 2012. But if you’ve got a grit-lit’r on your list, pulled out your colored pens, glitter and craft paper. Then make ‘em one of those I promise to get you as soon as its available homemade gift certificates. Or pre-order from your favorite book seller– “Under The Never Sky” by Veronica Rossi. (Harper Collins. $17.99, 348 pages, hard cover.) http://veronicarossibooks.blogspot.com/

“Sky” is definitely grit-lit even though the cover bills it as post-apocalyptic fiction for teenagers, it’s much more than that. In fact I wouldn’t be surprised if “Sky” is the next Harry Potter or Twilight.

Our heroine, Aria knows her chances of surviving in the outer wasteland–known as The Death Shop–are slim. If the cannibals don’t get her, the violent, electrified energy storms will. She’s been taught that the very air she breathes can kill her. Then Aria meets an Outsider named Perry. He’s wild–a savage–and her only hope of staying alive.

A HUNTER for his tribe in a merciless landscape, Perry views Aria as sheltered and fragile–everything he would expect from a Dweller. But he needs Aria’s help too. Opposites in nearly every way, Aria and need each other to survive.

Optioned by Warner Bros. Published in 20 countries. Order yours today.

“KBL: Kill Bin Laden” by John Weisman. (William Morrow $26.99, 300 pages, hard back.) www.harpercollins.com.

Ever wonder how they finally got that *&^% guy perfectly planted in a watery grave? If you do, then “KBL” is for you. Written by John Weisman, a guy who should know the gory details. Weisman reviews intelligence/military books for the Washington Times. And wowee-zowee does he have a handle on the latest cool military toys.

Robert Baer, former CIA officer says, “Absolutely gripping. KBL: Kill Bin Laden describes a true story that can only be told in fiction. It also enthrallingly shows how SEALs are the future of warfare in the 21st century.”

Perfect for your military-techno-warfare fan.

Winner in the new category–Economy has gone to *&^%, gotta cut back, whatta ya got in a paperback– “The Ninth Day” by Jamie Freveletti.  (HarperCollins, $9.99, 480 pages, paperback). www.jamiefreveletti.com.

“Ninth” is a Jack Reacher like novel. If Reacher was an ultra marathoner, female and backed up by a team of smart tough guys.

Biochemist Emma Caldridge, playing the Reacher role, accidentally discovers a human trafficking operation which leads to the discovery of huge contaminated marijuana fields outside Ciudad Juarez. Fields a Mexican drug cartel believes were purposely contaminated by US anti-drug forces.

Now the cartel plans to distribute their lethal crop throughout the USA. Emma, infected by the crop’s mysterious disease, hopes to create a miracle, saving the US and herself.

“Lassiter” by Paul Levine. (Bantam Books, $25, 283 pages, hard back.) www.paul-levine.com.

Since the passing of Robert Parker, I’m nominating Levine for some of greatest dialogue in the grit-lit genre.

Attorney Lassiter is cross-examining a police witness …

“Now what other imaginary objects do you see?

“None I can think of.”

“No unicorns?”

“No, sir,” he said, through gritted teeth.

“Leprechauns, then?”


Not even a chupacabra crawling out of the Everglades?”

“Objection!” Harold Flagler III, the young pup of a prosecutor, belatedly hopped to his feet.

“Grounds?” Judge Wallace Philbrick asked.

“Mr. Lassiter is badgering the witness.”

“It’s my job to badger the witness.”

“Judge Philbrick,” Flagler whined.

“I get paid to badger the witness.”

“Your Honor, please admonish—“

“C’mon Flagler. Didn’t they teach you trial tactics at Yale?”

“Mr. Lassiter!” Judge Philbrick wagged a bony finger at me. “Address your remarks to the court, not opposing counsel.”

“I apologize, Your Honor.” Sounding so sincere I nearly believed myself.

Lassiter, the perfect antidote to all those uptight, complicated, dry legal thrillers.

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