Where’s Paterson attorney Andy Carpenter (New Tricks, 2009, etc.) when you need him? In his absence, North Jersey’s hit by an epidemic of violence courtesy of a home-grown terrorist with a fixation on an inoffensive reporter.
Chris Turley doesn’t think of himself as a hero. So when an anonymous tip on a corrupt local politician sends him to a meeting just in time to see an office building get blown up and rescue five survivors, the story he writes for the Bergen News doesn’t make him out to be a hero. Same thing with the story he writes after the tipster helps him nail Englewood mayor Alex Stanley just as Stanley’s nailing a high-priced hooker. Suddenly Chris is the flavor of the month, giving the News’s website more traffic than it can handle. But now the tipster, who calls himself “P.T.,” turns nasty, killing citizens at random, some by car bombs, some in more inventive ways, and blaming their deaths on Chris. Evidently P.T. has a long-standing grudge against the reporter whose reputation he’s made, and for every day Chris declines to commit suicide, P.T. resolves to claim more victims in a rising curve. Local law enforcement calls in the FBI, with predictable nonresults. Can Chris and his buddies at the News, entertainment editor Dani Cooper and online editor Scott Ryder, end the carnage before a high-stakes New Year’s Eve deadline?
An effective page-turner despite by-the-numbers plotting and an unusually obtuse hero whose all-too-accurate mantra is “it’s all about me.”