15

FRIDAY

If you’re a small-minded, bitter, jealous type of individual (full disclosure: like me), then it’s easy to feel an intense, greenish hatred toward Brad Meltzer. He’s young (28), married to his high school sweetheart (attorney wife Cori), and a best-selling author (debut novel The Tenth Justice was last year’s hot beach book). This D.C. writer’s formula is so irritatingly winning that’s it’s a shocker no one else copped it sooner: Blend the money-making legal-thriller plots of Grisham and Turow with the sassy, hip dialogue of Friends. Sure, it’s not exactly Pulitzer-worthy lit, but as brain candy, it’s winning and it pays (big). His sophomore effort, Dead Even, pits a twentysomething husband-wife team of lawyers against one another in a court battle to the death. The pace is coconut-oil smooth, and the twists are so cleverly cinematic that you just know Matt Damon and Uma Thurman have already signed on to play the parts. Ugh. Meltzer signs today from 1-2 p.m. at Olsson’s Books & Records, 1200 F St. NW. Free. (202) 347-3686; and reads at 2 p.m. Saturday at Barnes & Noble, 3040 M St. NW. Free. (202) 965-9880. (Sean Daly)