Norman Draper, of Bloomington, writes:

I've just finished reading William Trevor's "Death in Summer." It's great. No surprise there. After reading six Trevor novels and lots of his short stories, I always anticipate a feast when I begin my next Trevor reading. His characters are achingly real; they jump off the pages to pull you into their stories. Trevor, now in his late 80s, is the master of nuance, infusing virtually every word of dialogue and the minutest descriptions with insight into the human condition.

Don't let this scare you away. Trevor novels aren't massive; this one's only 213 paperback pages. Besides, his plots are exquisite, often taking unexpected turns that, in the end, make perfect, satisfying sense. Trevor often deals with situations that terrify or at least threaten to terrify, and some of his characters are truly creepy. "Death in Summer" is about the kidnapping of an infant from the country estate of a recently widowed and emotionally wounded recluse. I guarantee it will be unlike any kidnapping story you've ever read.

Norman Draper's most recent comic novel, "Front Yard," was published by Kensington in September.

What's on your bedside table? Write us at