Ken Tucker
January 09, 2004 AT 05:00 AM EST

The Havana Room

type
Book
Current Status
In Season
author
Colin Harrison
publisher
Farrar, Straus & Giroux
genre
Fiction

We gave it an A

The class act of the urban thriller, Colin Harrison in The Havana Room explains the mysteries of Manhattan real estate and the city’s restaurant business — reasons enough to read the novel — and also offers a vivid portrait of a once-prosperous lawyer at loose ends (busted marriage, fired from plush firm, dirty Brooks Brothers shirts; oh, lord, it’s painful!) who freely admits, ”I scare much more easily than before. I freak more easily. I take threats very seriously.” Threatened, freaked, he gets involved in a shady real estate deal, cuddles with a sexy middle-aged woman (but not the corpse he finds frozen to a bulldozer), and contemplates eating fugu fish. That’s right: potentially poisonous fugu fish. Come on. Are you in the bookstore yet?

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