In the first volume of a proposed trilogy, twentysomething Felix Novak returns to his native New York after a decade in Oregon to claim the body of his younger sister. A regular in the downtown party scene, Penelope was found overdosed in a suite at the Official Hotel, near some of Tribeca’s hottest clubs. Soraya Navarro, a childhood friend of both siblings, fills Felix in on his sister’s recent high life and offers to help him, but the past shadows his return. Felix’s father Franklin, a highly decorated cop, shot his partner Billy Novarro, Soraya’s father, in an incident surrounded by gossip and unanswered questions. Mother Ellen subsequently took Felix away, and he’s been estranged from Franklin—who kept his cop buddies, if not his badge—ever since. Felix decides to search for Penelope’s killer, even though murder is not an obvious verdict, and even though it may put him on a collision course with dad. Soraya, a student at Columbia, seems too familiar with the hardcore party world, despite her denials. And her cocky boyfriend Gus works for the notorious Jimmy Cheng, according to Lanie Salisbury, tabloid reporter for the popular, much-maligned Spectator, who also becomes Felix’s lover. Is Lanie using Felix to get juicy tidbits to print, or is he using her to learn more about the world he’s trolling?
Newcomer Minter crowds his canvas with finely etched characters and creates a vivid, gritty world. The stories of the past and the present both get a little lost in it, but so most likely will the reader.