THE TWO DEATHS OF SENORA PUCCINI
by Stephen Dobyns (Viking: $17.95; 246 pp.) A grim and well-honed allegory. In a nameless Latin American city, a bloody insurrection will repeatedly invade the house, only echoing the awfulness of the story already unfolding there.--Richard Eder
GUTS AND GLORY
The Rise and Fall of Oliver North
by Ben Bradlee Jr.
(Donald I. Fine: $21.95; 572 pp.) Bradlee's answer to the question why North came to such prominence is straightforward--and troubling: With middling intelligence, he worked harder and had less time for doubt.--Gregory F. Treverton