Barrier Island, John D. MacDonald (Knopf). Corrupt public officials turn wasteland into gold mines by manipulating zoning laws until a murder intrudes on the laid-back life of golf, boating and long cool drinks. "MacDonald unfolds the plot with the dramatic flair of a master storyteller" (Stephen Vizinczey).
The Impostors, George V. Higgins (Henry Holt). "As always, (George V.) Higgins gives us characters who are convincingly drawn, a sense of place that is sharply evoked and writing that is first-class. His impostors are not very nice people, but it's highly satisfying to spend some time with them" (Marvin Seid).
To the Storm: The Odyssey of a Revolutionary Chinese Woman, recounted by Yue Daiyun and written by Carolyn Wakeman (University of California). "The plot may sound familiar: how Yue (Daiyun) adapted to a society that couldn't decide whether 'her kind,' free-thinking intellectuals, were national assets or enemies. This important personal history, though, is told with such sang-froid as to re-create an authentic mystery: How free was Yue Daiyun to direct her own life?" (Jeffrey C. Kinkley).
Johnny's Song: Poetry of a Vietnam Veteran, Steve Mason (Bantam). "I expected a flashback-collection of war stories. I found instead an insightful and timely collection dealing with the post-service domestic conflicts of veterans. Mason's work is peace poetry for today, without polemics" (Michael Casey).