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The best novels of 2010

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The Totally Hip Video Book Reviewer picks the best novels of 2010.

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Friday, December 17, 2010; 1:57 PM

THE AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF FIDEL CASTRO , by Norberto Fuentes (Norton, $27.95). The fake memoirs of the Cuban leader. Fidel couldn't have written it better. -Tom Miller

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BROKEN , by Karin Fossum (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, $25). The protagonist of this haunting psychological suspense novel doesn't just rattle around inside the Norwegian author's head; he shows up at her doorstep and pleads with her to treat him sensitively. -Richard Lipez

THE CONFESSION , by John Grisham (Doubleday, $28.95). This suspense story demands to be inhaled as quickly as possible, but it's also a superb work of social criticism about the death penalty and its casualties. -Maureen Corrigan

DAY FOR NIGHT , by Frederick Reiken (Reagan Arthur, $24.99). Using a different first-person point of view in every section, Reiken creates an emotionally acute, complex story about a woman whose father may have died in the Holocaust. -Julie Orringer

DEEP CREEK , by Dana Hand (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, $25). Chinese miners are brutally massacred on the Idaho border, and a disaffected lawman with more than enough troubles of his own finds himself hunting down the killers. -Carolyn See

DRIVING ON THE RIM , by Thomas McGuane (Knopf, $26.95). Berl Pickett, feckless doctor and accused murderer, is a splendid addition to the gallery of semi-cracked eccentrics who populate the literature of the American West. -Michael Lindgren

FATHER OF THE RAIN , by Lily King (Atlantic Monthly, $24). A devoted daughter struggles for years to save her emotionally controlling father from alcohol. -Ron Charles

A FIERCE RADIANCE , by Lauren Belfer (Harper, $25.99). Sex, spies, murder, big money, doomed romance and exotic travel are smoothly braided into this story about the wartime race to make large quantities of penicillin. -M.C.

A GEOGRAPHY OF SECRETS , by Frederick Reuss (Unbridled, $25.95). The interlocking stories of a defense analyst and a mapmaker examine the collateral damage of a lifetime of keeping secrets, raising provocative questions about Washington's culture of deception. -Daniel Stashower

THE GIRL WHO FELL FROM THE SKY , by Heidi W. Durrow (Algonquin, $22.95). When several family members fall off the roof of a Chicago apartment building, the sole survivor is biracial Rachel, who goes to live with her grandmother in an African American neighborhood. -Lisa Page

THE GIRL WHO KICKED THE HORNET'S NEST , by Stieg Larsson (Knopf, $27.95). The conclusion to the Millennium Trilogy is an ambitious panorama that encompasses the worlds of journalism, corporations, medicine, organized crime and government. -Patrick Anderson

THE GIRL WITH GLASS FEET , by Ali Shaw (Henry Holt, $24). Returning from a strange, shadow-haunted island, a young tourist finds herself turning into crystal. -Elizabeth Hand


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