"DEATH IN THE CITY OF LIGHT: THE SERIAL KILLER OF NAZI-OCCUPIED PARIS." By David King. Crown. $26.
As a journalist and a history buff, I've always been an admirer of the historical detective work of Erik Larson, and his skill at rendering the most base of human criminal acts against the backdrop of sometimes dazzling human historical achievements. His "Devil in the White City" melded the search for a deviant killer against the sparkle of the 1893 World's Fair in Chicago. In "Thunderstruck," his tale of murder intersects with the history-changing race to invent wireless communication. Larson's most recent, "In the Garden of Beasts," takes a different tack with its haunting rendering of Hitler's unfolding evil in 1930s Berlin, witnessed by American innocents -- with the worst acts, we know, yet to come.