The 1,081 citizens of Terrell County will recognize their desolate swath of Texas-Mexico borderlands as the backdrop of NO COUNTRY FOR OLD MEN (Knopf), CORMAC MCCARTHY’s first novel since 1998’s Cities of the Plain. It’s in this harsh territory—prime country for illicit trafficking—that retired welder Llewelyn Moss stumbles across the bloody aftermath of a heroin deal gone bad and absconds with a leather map case filled with $2.4 million. When he unwisely returns to the scene, he invites pursuit by the morally scrupulous sheriff Ed Tom Bell and a couple of enigmatic figures looking for cash and drugs, freelancer Anton Chigurh and mercenary Carson Wells. McCarthy fanatics may be disappointed to find they waited seven years for a literary thriller, but his patently spare prose and pithy dialogue make for a brilliant read.