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    THE TRUTH by Terry Pratchett

    HarperCollins, 2000

    William de Worde writes the news in Ankh-Morpork. With his handful of loyal subscribers, he manages a modest living until he hears the rumor that the dwarves can transmute lead to gold. Since this transmutation takes place through the use of movable leaded type, de Worde's world is changed forever. When Patrician Vetinari is accused of a bungled murder and robbery, de Worde's talents as a newsman are called to the fore. Either Vetinari has become suddenly and inexplicably incompetent, or someone is trying for a revolution within the city.

    Mr. Pin and Mr. Tulip are killers. Not assassins--the assassins guild is highly regulated in Ankh-Morpork. Neither has ever had any problem with little things like morals. For the right price, they'll kill, steal, or cheat anyone. They'll even dare the competency of Ankh-Morpork's constables (admittedly not all of the constables are especially competent but their leaders always seem to get their man, woman, dwarf, or vampire). Still, does their job description really call for them to track down an annoying dog?

    Terry Pratchett's Discworld series (see more reviews of novels by this author) can always be counted on for smiles. Sometimes, Pratchett writes a novel that is especially funny and even offers insights into human nature (and dwarf, elf, vampire, zombie nature etc.). THE TRUTH is one of the best. Vetinari continues to rule through a combination of benign neglect and an iron fist. De Worde deals with a growing attraction toward a young woman assisting him on the paper (with movable type, his newsletter becomes Ankh-Morpork's first newspaper), a conservative father who wants to return to dinosaur times, and increasing numbers of guildmasters who simply want him dead. All in all, THE TRUTH offers a skillful blend of laugh-out-loud wordplay, fast-paced adventure, and a touch of sexual tension.

    Four Stars

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