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Originally published Monday, February 14, 2011 at 7:00 PM

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Local books: 'The Good Son' in paperback; poetry by Frances McCue

New books by Seattle-area authors: Michael Gruber's "The Good Son" in paperback; a new poetry collection by Frances McCue and a meditation on Emily Dickinson's poetry and struggles with belief by a Seattle Pacific University professor.

New releases

"The Good Son" by Michael Gruber (St. Martin's Griffin, $14.99). New in paperback: the Seattle author's 2010 story of a special operations soldier whose mother, an eccentric psychologist, is taken captive in Pakistan by terrorists and threatened with execution. The novel "tackles thorny questions; at the same time, it's arguably Gruber's most readily accessible novel yet, with contemplative interludes balanced by smart, swift action," wrote Seattle Times crime-fiction reviewer Adam Woog.

"The Bled" by Frances McCue (Factory Hollow Press, $14). A collection of poems that addresses the author's experiences in Morocco and the death of her husband, Gary Greaves, who died unexpectedly there in 2009. McCue is writer in residence and lecturer at the honors college of the University of Washington.

"The Ark" by Boyd Morrison (Pocket Star Books, $7.99). New in paperback: a debut thriller by a Seattle author-actor about an archaeologist who needs to track down Noah's Ark in time to stop a religious fanatic who wants to use the Ark's secrets to wipe out civilization.

"Shadow Walkers" by Brent Hartinger (Flux, $9.95). For ages 12-up, by the Seattle author of "Geography Club:" In this sci-fi/fantasy novel, a young man, living with his grandparents on an island in Puget Sound, uses astral projection to attempt to find his kidnapped little brother.

"Mending a Tattered Faith: Devotions with Dickinson" by Susan VanZanten (Cascade Books, $15). The author, a professor of English at Seattle Pacific University, combines selections of Emily Dickinson's poetry with meditations on Dickinson's life and work, as well as the poet's struggles with issues of faith and doubt.

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