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Melodrama, Terror Propel New Grisham, King Books

Best-seller lists in fiction have been around since the late 19th century. They're difficult to break in to, but if you've made it once, you're probably going to make it again. Or, in the case of two household names — John Grisham and Stephen King — again and again and again.

Alan Cheuse has just read the forthcoming novels by both of these writers, and he's making a prediction: Yep, both of these novels will soon be climbing up the best-seller lists.

Grisham's The Appeal centers on a $41 million jury award to a Mississippi woman whose family has died at the hands of a chemical company; King's Duma Key features an evil genie who goes after a man seeking rest in the Florida Keys.

Both books are due out in late January.

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Alan Cheuse died on July 31, 2015. He had been in a car accident in California earlier in the month. He was 75. Listen to NPR Special Correspondent Susan Stamburg's retrospective on his life and career.