New York City TV newsman and novelist Scarborough (Stryker, The Myrmidon Project) now takes the big earthquake away from its usual California scenery and puts it in Manhattan at midday, in time to give details at 6:00 if only there were electricity. It's a really big news event in a really big city so it requires a really big cast to give this lead story the scope and the sweep it deserves. Among the hundred of resourceful, desperate, bold, fearful, selfless, brutal and always interesting New Yorkers caught by the stunning tectonic snap deep under 125th Street are wealthy mountain-climber and student of earth movement Sam Thorne; his wealthy, mountain-climbing mother; his beautiful but faithless actress wife; his plucky son; their plucky Norwich terrier; the city's bolder-than-Dinkins black mayor; his indomitable mother; his indomitable lawyer daughter; his homophobic son the doctor; Domenico Rizzo, a modern, take-charge Mafioso; his self-destructive mistress; his self-destructive wife; his self-destructive horse; four hospital roommates with AIDS who find Meaning among the ruins; a handsome Irish widower fire chief; a testy but very attractive city health officer with an eye for the mountain-climber; and a doomed zillionaire with plans for a newer, better New York once this is all cleaned up. The villains are jealous midwestern politicians and the state governor-all of whom want to plow the whole thing under. Thank goodness for a President with roots in Connecticut. Harmless nonsense. There's something of a breakthrough scene as a couple of handsome sexagenarians resume their long interrupted affair in the ruins of the Four Seasons, among the badly shaken agents and publishers.