This February, T.C. Boyle returns with "a socially conscious, richly humane tale regarding the dominion we attempt to exert, for better or worse, over the natural world." When the Killing's Done (Viking) is set off the coast of Santa Barbara, and follows a National Park Service biologist who is trying to keep invasive, non-native species from killing off the island's endangered native creatures. Her task is complicated by a local businessman and his folksinger girlfriend, who don't think that the non-native species should be eliminated.

This isn't Boyle's first foray into environmental fiction: his 2000 novel, A Friend of the Earth [read our review] is set in the future (2025, to be exact) in the wake of a massive species extinction.

Boyle fans should check out our coverage of his backlist on

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