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Belfer's 'Fierce Radiance' on best-books lists

Book critic Maureen Corrigan has named "A Fierce Radiance" by Lauren Belfer to two year-end lists of the best novels of 2010 -- the Washington Post's lengthy list of the Best Novels of 2010 and NPR's list of the Best Mysteries of 2010.

Corrigan wrote of Belfer's novel for the Post's list: "Sex, spies, murder, big money, doomed romance and exotic travel are smoothly braided into this story about the wartime race to make large quantities of penicillin."

Readers from Belfer's hometown of Buffalo noticed that "A Fierce Radiance," her second novel and a hefty 532 pages, had one character with the same name as her English teacher at Buffalo Seminary, Mack Mahoney.

Other books included in the Post's list of best 2010 novels are: John Grisham's "The Confession" (to be reviewed in The News on Sunday), Jodi Picoult's "House Rules," Laura Lippman's "I'd Know You Anywhere," Sue Miller's "The Lake Shore Limited" and Stieg Larsson's "The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest."

Others included in Corrigan's list of Best Mysteries for NPR are "Hornet's Nest," "The Confession," Tana French's "Faithful Place," Daniel Silva's "The Rembrandt Affair," and Paul Grossman's "The Sleepwalkers."

Belfer's first novel, "City of Light," was about Buffalo at the turn of the 20th century and was set in a girl's school modeled on the Buffalo Seminary.

-- Jeff Simon

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