Books: Cover Stories

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The Independent Culture
TEN MILLION copies and a decade on, Hannibal Lecter is back. On 8 June, in Britain and the US, the fiction world's most notorious serial killer returns in Hannibal - Thomas Harris's sequel to Silence of the Lambs. The new novel - which landed on the desk of Harris's US editor after a long silence - is the second book in a deal reportedly worth close on $6m. It opens seven years after Dr Lecter's escape; one of his victims uses FBI agent Clarice Starling as bait to draw the doctor out into the open, in order to wreak revenge...

BY ALL accounts, Discworld creator Terry Pratchett is not the most, er, socialised of authors. Recently, while being chauffeured between events during the London Literary Festival, he insisted on reading aloud to his driver. Not from his own books, but P G Wodehouse. Shortly, as Dr Pratchett, he may behave even more grandly. In July, Warwick University will bestow on him the award of Honorary Doctor of Letters.

JUST AS we thought it was safe to go back into the water comes Close to Shore, Michael Capuzzo's account of the rogue great white shark that inspired Jaws. The beast lurked off the New Jersey shoreline in 1916, killing five and maiming others. It even swam upriver, attacking boys taking a cooling dip after a day cutting corn. Eventually, a reward was offered for capture after President Wilson declared that Something Must be Done. So imagine the consternation when a lone fisherman found it entangled in his net. Headline publishes the book next year.

PAT CONROY may have backtracked on plans to write a sequel to Gone with the Wind following problems with the Mitchell Estate, but that hasn't deterred Rae Lawrence from embarking on a sequel to Valley of the Dolls, the late Jacqueline Susann's bestseller. Lisa Bishop, the author's trustee, uncovered sketches for a sequel, and concluded a six-figure rights deal for what's cheerfully described as "a pink trash spectacular", Jacqueline Susann's Shadow of the Dolls.

HARRY POTTER continues on his way to world domination. With two books in the charts and more promised, J K Rowling's debut, Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, will soon be an audiobook. Stephen Fry will do the reading for the Cover to Cover label.