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What to read this week: New books by Maureen Callahan, Peter Orner and Courtney Maum

"American Predator: The Hunt for the Most Meticulous

"American Predator: The Hunt for the Most Meticulous Serial Killer of the 21st Century" by Maureen Callahan (Viking) Credit: Handout/Viking

AMERICAN PREDATOR, by Maureen Callahan

He buried "kill kits" filled with cash, weapons and body-disposal tools in different locations so that he could murder in broad daylight, then return to his life as a single dad and construction worker in Alaska. If you've never heard of Israel Keyes, his name will fill you with dread after reading Callahan's superb investigation of how such a monster managed to thrive in our modern world. (Viking, $27)


Prepare to get lost in "Walt Kaplan Is Broke: A Novella," the longest piece in Orner's new collection, which may be the best portrayal of working-class New England life since Stewart O'Nan's "Last Night at the Lobster." There are 44 other stories in this collection, and they are all marvels of concision and compassion. (Little, Brown and Company, $27)

COSTALEGRE, by Courtney Maum

Inspired by millionaire art collector Peggy Guggenheim's relationship with her daughter, Pegeen, "Costalegre" sets Leonora and Lara Callaway in 1937 Mexico, where Leonora has provided a refuge for "important" European surrealists fleeing Hitler. Lara, 15, finds one sculptor, Jack Klinger, irresistible — perhaps because, unlike her mother, he pays attention to her. If anything can be taut and lush at once, Maum's novel fits the bill. (Tin House Books, $19.95)

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