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by Dick Wolf
William Morrow, January 2014
337 pages
ISBN: 0062064851

Buy in the UK | Buy in Canada

This is the second in the Jeremy Fisk series by the creator of NBC's "Law & Order," Dick Wolf. Following on from his introductory novel, readers now find Jeremy Fisk of the NYPD's Intelligence Division (a sort of mini-CIA, which was created after 9/11 to focus solely on threats to the city) still facing an Islamic threat as the novel opens, but within a few pages, the story quickly moves to its real core, United Nations week in New York and the threats it brings.

What makes an otherwise challenging week of world leaders all converging on New York at the same time is a particularly ominous sign from a Mexican cartel leader, known as the Hummingbird. When thirteen headless bodies turn up on Rockaway Beach, Fisk is called in to assist, and it soon becomes clear that problems of Mexico have migrated north in time with the arrival of the Mexican president at the UN.

The Mexicans want to assume full responsibility for investigating and protecting their president while he's in town at the UN, none more so than Detective Cecilia Garza, known as the Ice Queen to her deputies. She had already been hot on the trail of the Hummingbird back in Nuevo Laredo and sees his signature all over the events in New York. When her own men, tasked with protective duty of the president, begin getting slaughtered in NYC, she's reluctant to give up ground to Fisk or any other Americans, especially the Secret Service.

Eventually, of course, she is forced to work with Fisk, and at the heart of the novel is a conversation that the two share about work, which like radiation, slowly has infected and altered their lives. This foreshadows the ending twist, which brings the story full circle from what initially seemed to have been a stilted opening.

Dick Wolf uses the tools of television, drama and tension, to keep readers engaged in his storytelling. While perhaps not as involving as the first novel in the series, he redeems himself with the surprise ending to this one.

Christine Zibas is a freelance writer and former director of publications for a Chicago nonprofit.

Reviewed by Christine Zibas, February 2014

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Contact: Yvonne Klein (ymk@reviewingtheevidence.com)

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