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Patricia Highsmith (1988) Those Who Walk Away. (First published 1967)

Gloomy wintertime Venice: Ray, an American traveling in Europe, has lost his wife to suicide. Ed, his father-in-law, blames Ray for his daughter's death and tries to kill him. But Ray survives and follows Ed to places all over Venice trying to explain his wife's suicide to the outraged father - seemingly unaware of Ed's unforgiving hate.

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Dan Brown (2006) The Da Vinci Code.

International murder mystery with a collection of fascinating esoteria from 2,000 years of Western civilization. Brown suggests a catholic conspiracy, linking Mona Lisa's smile to the secret of the Holy Grail. While historians have complaints about the accuracy of Brown's facts, no one has any doubts that this is one of the most thrilling and briskly paced page-turners in years.

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John Case (1998) The Genesis Code.

P.I. Joe Lassiter is searching the murderer of his only sister and her son. As more victims pile up, the hunt leads Lassiter to an Italian fertility clinic, where a well-known physician practices artificial insemination - and possibly something more evil based on cloning. A desperate rural priest and a right-wing catholic sect also become involved in the plot that depicts some of the frightening possibilities of genetic engineering.

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Carol Goodman (2008) The Night Villa: A Novel.

University of Texas classics professor Sophie Chase barely survives a gunman's shooting spree with ties to a sinister cult. To escape from the nightmares she joins an expedition to Capri where a team of archeologists attempts the reconstruction of a Roman villa destroyed when Mount Vesuvius buried nearby Herculaneum in A.D. 79. A story of conspiracies and sex.

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Douglas Preston (2008) The Monster of Florence.

Preston and Italian crime reporter Spezi seek to uncover the identity of the "Monster of Florence" - a serial killer who stalked lovers in the Italian countryside. In an incredible twist both authors are charged with obstruction of justice. Spezi becomes jailed on suspicion of being the Monster himself by an incompetent police force more concerned with saving face than solving the case.

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