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“I read John Searles’ debut mystery, Boy Still Missing, a number of years ago and wanted to know if his mastery of suspense was just a fluke or the real deal. Turns out his second novel Strange But True surpasses it as a taut tale that builds like an old steam locomotive to a thrilling climax, its author negotiating plot with aplomb, creating scenes along the way that clutch the reader in their thrall like a vise. I’m now embarked on Laurence Leamer’s nonfiction Madness Under the Royal Palms, a thoroughly fascinating story for which Leamer managed to infiltrate Palm Beach society, deliciously exposing the charlatanesque behavior and mind-boggling foibles of many of the posh town’s most glittering celebs.”

Bob Brink, author of Murder in Palm Beach: The Homicide That Never Died

Brink appears 8 p.m. Friday at Books & Books, 265 Aragon Ave., Coral Gables

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