With the doorstop-worthy The Company, Robert Littell — author of the 1973 spy classic The Defection of A.J. Lewinter — whips up a 900-page mole hunt spanning the history of the CIA. (Overlook, April 29)… James Lee Burke’s publishing house informs us that he’s not only ”the Graham Greene of the bayou” but also ”the Faulkner of crime fiction,” so we guess you can expect long sentences about swampy intrigue from Jolie Blon’s Bounce. (Simon & Schuster, June)… Back on the case after a six-year absence, detective Easy Rawlins reappears in alliterative style in Bad Boy Brawly Brown, the latest from crime maestro Walter Mosley. (Little, Brown, July)… In Red Rabbit, the Soviet premier Yuri Andropov plans to assassinate the Pope. This being the handiwork of Tom Clancy, only a young Jack Ryan can thwart him. (Putnam, August)


Tasteless? Maybe. Controversial? Quite likely. Best-seller material? You bet. Former George magazine editor Richard Blow throws the tabloids into a tizzy with American Son: A Portrait of John F. Kennedy, Jr. (Henry Holt, May)… Testing the limits of literary form, novelist Rick Moody fits an addiction story, a genealogical history, and a study of Nathaniel Hawthorne into a ”memoir with digressions” called The Black Veil. (Little, Brown, May 6)… Smashed rackets! Tatum O’Neal! More smashed rackets! In You Cannot Be Serious tennis great John McEnroe serves up his life story. (Putnam, June)… French art critic Catherine Millet conquered best-seller lists across Europe with The Sexual Life of Catherine M., in which she informs readers, quite graphically, that she used to get around a lot. (Grove, June)… It figures that Jerry Oppenheimer — who has previously practiced his craft on Martha Stewart, Barbara Walters, and the Clintons — has a whole lot to say about nothing in Seinfeld: The Making of an American Icon. (HarperCollins, August)


The title of Three Junes, the first novel from award-winning short-story writer Julia Glass, describes its setting — a trio of summers in the life of a death-haunted Scottish family. (Pantheon, May)… The novelist Chang-rae Lee, who discovered Gary Shteyngart’s The Russian Debutante’s Handbook in a pile of writing program applications, compares the prose of the Russki-in-New York tale to that of Bellow and Nabokov. (Riverhead, June)… Twelve plus six equals the age of author Nick McDonnell, who spins a Kids-ish tale about Manhattan preppies. (Grove, June)… Arthur Phillips explores the doings of five expatriates bent on making it in post-Communist Eastern Europe in Prague—a novel set, naturally, in Budapest. (Random House, July)… In a first story collection called You Are Not a Stranger Here, Adam Haslett hits all the old favorites—love, suffering, and death. (Doubleday, July)


Samuel Comstock captains a murderous high-seas takeover, but that’s only the beginning of the mayhem in Mutiny on the Globe, by historian Thomas Farel Heffernan. (Norton, April 29)… Tim Zimmermann follows an around-the-world sailing competition in The Race. (Houghton Mifflin, June)… In Prisoners of Hope, Dayna Curry and Heather Mercer tell of their humanitarian work, captivity, and rescue in Afghanistan. (Doubleday, June 11)… Toss the famous lobsterwoman on an island off Maine (pop. 70), add local history and some melted butter, and serve ’em Linda Greenlaw’s The Lobster Chronicles. (Hyperion, July)… What are the odds? The very same night 1871’s Great Chicago Fire was raging, 2,000 people died in a Firestorm at Peshtigo, Wisconsin. Denise Gess and William Lutz assess the damage. (Holt, August)