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arts_briefly04_1115THE RIPPER GENE By Michael Ransom Gr’99, faculty (Tor-Forge Books, 2015, $24.99.) The stakes are doubly high for Dr. Lucas Madden when a serial murderer known as the Snow White Killer kidnaps a woman in the Mississippi Delta. Madden, a former neuroscientist now working as a profiler for the FBI, is not only renowned for having identified and linked the “ripper gene” to the serial-killer phenotype; he was also once engaged to the kidnapped woman. This is the first novel by Ransom (the pen name of Ted Burzcynski), an adjunct professor in the Department of Pharmacology and former researcher in the pharmaceutical industry. Buy this book

arts_briefly01_1115WALL STREETERS: The Creators and Corruptors of American Finance By Edward Morris WG’70 (Columbia University Press, 2015, $29.95.) Many of Wall Street’s contemporary trends—the 2008 financial collapse, the expansion of corporate and private wealth, the influence of money in politics—can be understood by examining the 14 critical figures who wrote, and sometimes broke, the rules of American finance. From J. Pierpont Morgan to Michael Milken WG’70 to Citigroup’s Sandy Weill, Morris—a professor of finance and former dean of Lindenwood University’s business school—traces the transformation of Wall Street from a clubby enclave of financiers to a symbol of vast economic power. Buy this book

arts_briefly02_1115THE BOYS FROM EIGHTH AND CARPENTER By Tom Mendicino C’76 (Kensington, 2015, $15.) After their mother dies, Michael and Frankie Gagliano are raised in a hardscrabble South Philadelphia neighborhood by their old-school Italian father. Frankie takes over the family barbershop, then gets involved with a questionable person, and the family home becomes the scene of a murder. Michael, now a wealthy lawyer, has to figure out a way to save his brother without destroying his own life. Mendicino is a Philadelphia-based lawyer. Buy this book

arts_briefly03_1115QUICKSAND By Carolyn Baugh Gr’11 G’08 (Forge, 2015, $25.99.) Detective Nora Khalil works to keep the mean streets of Philadelphia safe from gang violence while trying to honor the expectations of her traditional Egyptian-American family. When a mutilated body is found, she has to draw on her cultural background as well as her police training to find out whether this is another gang-related killing or something even more disturbing. Baugh, whose graduate work at Penn was in Arabic and Islamic studies, is assistant professor of history at Gannon University. Buy this book

arts_briefly05_1115CRACK99: The Takedown of a $100 Million Chinese Software Pirate By David Locke Hall G’85 L’85 (Norton, 2015, $26.95.) Hall, a former US Navy intelligence officer, was a federal prosecutor when he came across CRACK99, a website with the bizarre slogan No Maze all is surprised True deal. It turned out to be a piracy ring selling—at cut-rate prices—sophisticated US military software with a total retail value of $100 million. Hall recounts the elaborate sting that led to the arrest and imprisonment of Chinese entrepreneur Xiang Li. Buy this book

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