T.C. Boyle (The Women) makes environmentalism seem as sexy as it is dangerous in When the Killing’s Done ($26.95, amazon.com), his latest novel set on the sparsely inhabited Channel Islands off the coast of Santa Barbara. The opening scene is a shipwreck and the riveting storytelling is as much about endangered species as about dangerous relationships. Boyle asks essential questions (Who has the right to possess land? How far should one species go to save another?) that will stay with you long after you’ve finished reading.