LEIPZIG — In retrospect, Thomas Wehlim realizes that sending his half-finished novel to publishers before he’d written the crucial, explosive final scenes might seem like a brazen act of overconfidence. At the time, though, he badly needed the money. “I was kind of broke,” Mr. Wehlim said over coffee recently in the drafty, pigeon-infested food court in Leipzig Central Station here, pausing occasionally when he was drowned out by announcements from the station agent. “‘Trains'” was a last roll of the dice for me as a fiction writer.” As gambles go, this one has more than paid off for Mr. Wehlim and his publisher. In less than a month, “Trains,” a novel that deals with the disappearance of several million people, has catapulted to the top of the best-seller lists. Next week it will hold the No. 1 spot on the hardcover and e-book fiction lists of The New York Times. Continue reading the main story … Books of The Times: ‘Trains,’ by Thomas J. Wehlim, April. 4, 2015.

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