Mysterious Press, 2005 (2005)
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Reviewed by Hilary Williamson
errorism hits the Hamptons hard in this convoluted thriller. And there's much more to it than meets the eye, as police officer Justin Westwood gradually discovers. The author drops hints for the reader along the way, beginning with a news article that announces eight million acres of Alaska's National Petroleum Reserve being set aside as a national monument. We wonder what that's all about.
ustin's boss, Jimmy Leggett, is killed in the first incident, an apparent suicide bombing in a local East End Harbor restaurant - but the reader is clued in to the fact that the perpetrator didn't expect to die. The FBI announce it as a terrorist act. '
Destruction on a small, intimate scale
' becomes the new way of a fearful nation. Justin, who has carried weighty baggage since the murder of his small daughter and his wife's subsequent suicide, begins an investigation as acting chief of police.
is eulogy at Jimmy's funeral is interrupted by another emergency. A small plane has gone down in his jurisdiction. But after the body is taken away by ambulance, it disappears into thin air, leaving behind no clues to the victim's identity. Justin suspects an arrogant FAA agent of interference. As he attempts to find a trail through mists of misdirection and murder, the body count escalates before and behind him. He's joined in the investigation by a new hire, brazen Regina '
' Bokkenheuser, with whom he is soon romantically entangled.
ustin seeks to learn what the killers fear and, on his father's advice, to dig out a money motive. The latter leads to a company called Midas. Whatever is going on, it's clear that the FBI is in the thick of it, with links to power-brokers in Washington. There, politicians push through a '
Triumph of Freedom Act
' that gives authorities wide-ranging new powers against suspected terrorists. With what's ranged against him, it's lucky that Justin's no average cop - he survives with help from his own FBI contact, his wealthy banker father, a kid hacker, an ethical bureaucrat, and a useful sociopath acquaintance.
ussell Andrews shows us a cop who crosses lines, up against powerful figures who do it on a much larger scale. An
end justifies means
- a gripping thriller that conspiracy theorists will love, but also a novel that looks hard at important concerns about the potential for abuse of power at all levels of government in times of crisis.
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