“Bucky F------ Dent”

By David Duchovny

(Farrar, Straus and Giroux)

Actor David Duchovny, recently seen as Fox Mulder on “The X-Files” TV revival, follows his humorous New York Times best-seller “Holy Cow” with another funny and heartfelt story, “Bucky F------ Dent.”

Ted Fullilove lives alone, works at Yankee Stadium in a Mr. Peanut costume and is estranged from his father.

Although he works for the Yankees, he’s passionate about the Boston Red Sox. In the 1978 season, the Sox have a lead that looks insurmountable, and Ted wonders if this finally will be the year the Sox break the Bambino curse. Ever since the 1919 season when the Red Sox traded Babe Ruth to New York, the Yankees have had success and the Red Sox have wallowed in misery.

Ted’s father, Marty, who has cancer, loves the Red Sox. Though they haven’t spoken in years, Ted decides to move in to help take care of Marty. Their relationship is strained, but they find solace and comfort through baseball. Marty wants to live long enough to see the curse of the Sox broken. As the season progresses, Ted makes sure Marty hears the Sox are winning, though the Yankees are actually gaining in the standings.

Baseball fans will know why Duchovny gave the title to this book, and he does a terrific job of blending quirky and emotional writing about the relationship between a father and his son.

Duchovny has hit this one out of the park.

— Jeff Ayers

“Hard Light”

By Elizabeth Hand

(Minotaur Books)

Among the most unconventional sleuths who populate the mystery genre, Cassandra “Cass” Neary stands out — an alcoholic photographer whose career flamed out more than 30 years ago when she was immersed in the punk rock scene. Cass is on a perpetual collision course to save herself, finding solace in alcohol, drugs and photography.

Cass is the kind of person that few people would want in their lives, but author Elizabeth Hand makes it easy to care about this perpetual outsider whose knowledge that she wasted her talents subconsciously dictates her actions.

In “Hard Light,” Cass submerges herself in the 1970s music scene and its aftermath when she escapes to grimy North London. Her plan is to meet up with her longtime boyfriend, Quinn, following a disastrous time in Iceland.

Quinn is nowhere in sight, and the nomadic Cass ends up doing menial errands for a low-level mobster, crashing at decaying apartments and eventually ending up at a dilapidated Cornwall farmhouse.

On one errand, Cass delivers a package to Poppy Teasel, who made a name for herself as a hard-core groupie in the early 1970s before becoming a punk singer with a cult following. Cass finds herself on the periphery of a series of murders that involve film noir, Paleolithic icons and former musicians whose fleeting fame ended decades ago.

The author makes the plot come together with aplomb, bringing together unlikely links in a believable story. As a sleuth, the unpredictable Cass shouldn’t work, but her eye as a photographer gives her strength and allows her to see what others may not. She often sees the world in hard light that “gives a sharp edge to everything, throws it all into harsh relief.”

In her third outing following 2012’s “Available Light,” Cass continues to be oddly appealing, forever teetering on the edge, and infinitely intriguing.

— Oline H. Cogdill


Week ending April 10, 2016

Hardcover fiction

1. “As Time Goes By” by Mary Higgins Clark (Simon & Schuster)

2. “The Beast” by J.R. Ward (NAL)

3. “Fool Me Once’ by Harlan Coben (Dutton)

4. “The Nest” by Cynthia D’Aprix Sweeney (Ecco)

5. “The 14th Colony” by Steve Berry (Minotaur)

6. “Family Jewels” by Stuart Woods (G.P. Putnam’s Sons)

7. “Private Paris” by James Patterson, Mark Sullivan (Little,Brown & Co.)

8. “Property of a Noblewoman” by Danielle Steel (Delacorte Press)

9. “Miller’s Valley” by Anna Quindlen (Random House)

10. “What We Find” by Robyn Carr (Harlequin MIRA)

Hardcover nonfiction

1. “The Rainbow Comes and Goes” by Anderson Cooper and Gloria Vanderbilt (Harper)

2. “The Sleep Revolution” by Arianna Huffington (Harmony)

3. “Dream Home” by Jonathan Scott and Drew Scott (HMH)

4. “The Third Wave” by Steve Case (Simon & Schuster)

5. “Born for This” by Chris Guillebeau (Crown Business)

6. “The Longevity Book” by Cameron Diaz and Sandra Bark (Harper Wave)

7. “When Breath Becomes Air” by Paul Kalanithi (Random House)

8. “Cravings” by Chrissy Teigen and Adeena Sussman (Clarkson Potter)

9. “Disrupt Aging” by Jo Ann Jenkins (PublicAffairs)

10. “The End of Heart Disease” by Joel Fuhrman (HarperOne)


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