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New books from Jodi Picoult, Martin Cruz Smith and Meg Cabot

Here’s what’s new in bookstores this week:

▪ Small Great Things by Jodi Picoult (Ballantine Books, $28.99) — The bestselling author (The Storyteller) tackles multiple sides of racism in her latest novel, which was inspired by a true story. Ruth, an African-American nurse, is instructed not to touch the newborn son of a white supremacist couple, but when the baby dies, the blame — and a murder charge — falls on Ruth. The story is told from three points of view: Ruth’s, her public defender’s and the baby’s father.

▪ The Girl From Venice by Martin Cruz Smith (Simon & Schuster, $27) — The award-winning author (Gorky Park) offers a standalone historical novel that’s part mystery and thriller and all love story set in Italy during the last days of World War II. Cenzo, a fisherman in occupied Venice, finds a girl’s body floating in a lagoon. But she’s not dead. Giulia, a teenage aristocratic Jew whose parents were murdered, is on the run from the Nazis — and Cenzo is determined to help her.

▪ The Boy Is Back by Meg Cabot (William Morrow, $25.99) — The bestselling author presents the fourth book in her “Boy” series — told in journal missives, emails, texts and a few other unique ways. Becky helps seniors cut the clutter and relocate. Reed is a pro golfer who’s back in Bloomville, Ind., after a 10-year absence. Becky and Reed were high school sweethearts, who did not break up cute. Now that fate has thrown them together again, what’s next?

Celeste Williams

Texas author Clint Emerson, a retired Navy SEAL, will talk about and sign his new book, 100 Deadly Skills: Survival Edition, at 7 p.m. Thursday at the Dallas Barnes & Noble, 7700 W. Northwest Highway; 214-739-1124. This is the follow-up to 100 Deadly Skills.

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