A novel about the consequences of a terrorist attack in New York City.
Reardon comes up with an intriguing and original premise here. Michael Swann is at Penn Station and is talking to Julia, his wife, on the phone when a massive explosion goes off, severing the call in midsentence. News reports soon begin to filter out of the confusion and chaos—that the terrorist who set off the bomb is not a foreigner but rather an American with a grudge against corporations. (Although many hundreds died in the attack, seven executives of a large chemical company seem to have been targeted specifically.) Julia is at home in West Chester, Pennsylvania, and understandably in a state of panic verging on hysteria. She gets in her car and tries to get into the city, but the Lincoln Tunnel is closed because of mayhem in the streets. And then, in an updated news report, Julia learns the name of the alleged terrorist: Michael Swann. Reardon splits his narrative between a third-person narrative that focuses on how Julia, her family, and her friends deal with the inconceivable events and a first-person account that purports to give us Michael’s dazed thoughts as he staggers around with a concussion and amnesia—he seems to have forgotten who Julia is—brought about by the blast. Slowly, she’s able to make contact with him and, convinced of his innocence, tries to make surreptitious arrangements to meet up with him, a task that involves evading agents from Homeland Security who are seeking to find the suspect quickly before he can create more destruction. A cat-and-mouse game ensues as Julia tries to find Michael before government agents can get to him.
Many twists and turns that keep readers guessing till the end.