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10 New Books We Recommend This Week

THE FINISHER, by Peter Lovesey. (Soho Crime, $27.95.) In a peerlessly plotted mystery, Lovesey brings back his prickly, rule-abhoring detective, Peter Diamond of the Bath police, who’s investigating a murder at a half-marathon. As readers who love the Diamond series know, the picture-perfect old British city, honeycombed with sluices, drains and sewers, offers unrivaled facilities for disposing of bodies. “The light and dark imagery is a fixture of Lovesey’s Bath novels,” Marilyn Stasio writes in her crime column, “in which life is lived on many levels, some in full sunshine and others buried in shadow.”

DADDY: Stories, by Emma Cline. (Random House, $27.) The 10 stories that constitute this debut collection (by the author of the novel “The Girls”) have the clean, bright lines of modernist architecture; with an earnestness punctuated by millennial cool, Cline proves herself an astute observer of the social rhythms of the upper middle class. “There’s a riffing playfulness to her prose as it turns back on itself to interrupt, comment or elaborate,” Brandon Taylor writes in his review. “This self-aware tone appears here or there in the collection, cluing us in that the author, or at least the narrating intelligence, knows something these characters do not, covering the stories in a patina of wisdom or insight.”

SOUL FULL OF COAL DUST: A Fight for Breath and Justice in Appalachia, by Chris Hamby. (Little, Brown, $30.) Hamby powerfully recounts two stories, both miserable: the effect that working in coal mines has had on the health of miners, and the decades-long battle for federal help to force companies to pay for their medical care. “In the mountain towns of Appalachia, as elsewhere, ordinary people battle corporate power reluctantly,” Héctor Tobar writes in his review. “Hamby, a journalist at The Times, employs dogged investigative work and a deep well of empathy for his subjects to painstakingly bring this private pathos to life.”

THE PRESIDENTS VS. THE PRESS: The Endless Battle Between the White House and the Media — From the Founding Fathers to Fake News, by Harold Holzer. (Dutton, $30.) As Holzer shows in this revealing historical survey, Donald Trump’s hostile relationship to journalists is part and parcel of a long tradition of conflict between presidents and the press corps. “For all of Trump’s transgressions against the press — and they are many — Holzer’s book offers evidence that he’s not the greatest enemy of the First Amendment to have occupied the White House,” Jack Shafer writes in his review. “He might not even rank in the top five.”

OWLS OF THE EASTERN ICE: A Quest to Find and Save the World’s Largest Owl, by Jonathan C. Slaght. (Farrar, Straus & Giroux, $28.) Slaght is a wildlife biologist with a singular mission, to conserve an elusive and enormous raptor in the eastern wilds of Russia. The book is an ode to the rigors and pleasures of fieldwork in hard conditions. “We discover what it feels like to become aware of every little thing, to fully inhabit a living landscape,” Tucker Malarkey writes in her review. “For this reason and others, this is an unusual (and welcome) book for our times.”

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