Jonathan Weisman’s first novel, “No. 4 Imperial Lane,” starts down the worn path of innocents abroad but almost immediately veers off into unfamiliar territory. In one seductive chapter after another, we’re led through an extended elegy that expands from private sorrow to lost empire, a potentially ponderous scope that makes the novel’s gracefulness all the more remarkable.
“The Fixer,” by Joseph Finder. Dutton, New York, 2015. 416 pages. $27.95. A down-on-his-luck Boston investigative reporter who loses his job, his fashion-model-gorgeous girlfriend, his home and a good hunk of his self-esteem has nowhere to go but up. This is Boston author Joseph Finder’s operating premise and it’s one we journalists happily embrace.
Some published novels should never see the light of day. Ernest Hemingway’s reputation has suffered from the posthumous release of such wretched drafts as “True at First Light.” Papa Hemingway didn’t release them in his lifetime, and we can tell there was a good reason. This does not apply, however, to Harper Lee’s “Go Set a Watchman,” the novel that supposedly morphed into the 1960 Pulitzer Prize-winner “To Kill a Mockingbird.