Title: The White Mary

Author: by Kira Salak

Publisher: Henry Holt

Pages: 354

Price: $25

In a nutshell: This compelling novel features Marika Viscera, 34, a single woman and a magazine writer who travels to Third World countries and writes about genocide and other forms of human suffering, including war and torture. Her boyfriend, Seb, tried to deter her from future travel, but she loves her work. The story is heavily based on the actual exploits of the author, who makes a living doing the same thing as Marika. When she hears that her idol, the famous but fictitious war correspondent Robert Lewis, has committed suicide, she decides to write his biography. When she gets information that he may be alive in an extremely dark corner of the world, she determines to find him. The writing is realistic. Salak includes some instances involving sex and violence, but she always uses discretion.