In this sixth entry of an improving series (The Two Chinatowns, 2001, etc.), NYPD detectives McKenna and Cisco take their supercop act on the road.
And across the ocean. Mission: recover La Tesora (“the treasure”), from the miscreants who’ve snatched her. Rich, beautiful Carmen de la Cruz—“a living saint” is the phrase that resonates throughout Spain at every mention of her name—has been hijacked, spirited away by ETA, a Basque terrorist organization, giving rise to howls of public indignation. These are echoed three thousand miles away, in New York, where “The Treasure” has scads of friends, among them the brilliant but modest McKenna and the brilliant and immoderately immodest Cisco, self-anointed the “world’s best detective.” Both know and deeply admire Doña Carmen, having made her acquaintance in a prior adventure. And then suddenly New York has its own high-profile kidnapping to contend with: the Spanish ambassador to the UN is nabbed as he steps out of his Fifth Avenue apartment building, the perps seemingly that same hot-headed group of Basque dissidents. Only it’s not. Bitterly opposed to ETA, is GAL, equally acronymic, equally incendiary, so that soon suspicion points in that direction. Hurriedly, US law enforcement responds by forming the Joint Terrorist Task Force, an ad hoc group to be spearheaded by McKenna and Cisco. Good police work results in the recapture of the purloined ambassador, after which it’s off to Spain for the nonpareil duo, charged with accomplishing the same happy outcome on behalf of the stolen Treasure. They succeed, of course, but the methods they use are unconventional, certainly never taught in any Police Academy, which causes Cisco to remind McKenna that “Good guy is a relative term.”
A cut above, though retired NYPD captain Mahoney is still prone to swamp good storylines with procedural detail. Less can be more.