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'The Incredible Double' by Owen Hill
'The Incredible Double' by Owen Hill

Clay Blackburn, the hero of Owen Hill's elegant and understated novel "The Incredible Double," is not your typical detective. For one thing, he's a book scout: a guy who haunts used bookstores and estate sales, looking for the one or two items of real value. For another, he's a poet, with a couple of chapbooks to his name. Most tellingly, he's the kind of enlightened anarchist who could only come from Berkeley, where he lives not far from the "world famous open-air asylum" that is Telegraph Avenue. And yet, a detective Clay is, after his own odd fashion -- working without a license and without a net. In "The Incredible Double," he is asked...