A New York City undercover detective investigates a gang that specializes in breaking into skyscrapers.
Jake Rivett, the NYPD hero of Hatch’s (Flash Crash, 2016) previous novel, returns here for a second go-round. This time, Ducati-loving Jake, a headbanger musician in his spare time, goes deep undercover to infiltrate a group that is specially targeting penthouse apartments in skyscrapers belonging to a Donald Trumpish real estate mogul, Arthur Metropolis. Jake’s point of entry is the crew led by Rory Visco that gets its kicks by illegally climbing Manhattan landmarks and exploring off-limits locations beneath the city’s streets. Written in a particularly visceral fashion, readers get to experience firsthand the pure adrenaline rush of this new breed of urban explorer and location hacker. From penetrating a band of bank robbers, Jake learned about the Leviathan, a Mr. Big who is behind much of the crime committed in New York. It doesn’t take long for a reader to figure out that these two plots will eventually intersect. At the same time, Jake develops a romantic relationship with Mona Rosas, a community activist who is also a member of the extreme thrills crew. But will his identity as an NYPD detective be revealed and thus expose Mona to additional danger? As in his previous novel, the author writes with flair about cutting-edge technology and turns out to be a knowledgeable guide when it comes to the shadow Manhattan that few are privileged to know about. He takes his characters from the heights of the Brooklyn Bridge and the Statue of Liberty to the abandoned subway station beneath the Waldorf Astoria hotel and the city’s oldest sewer system, known as the hydra. Characterizations are on the thin side here, and the writing remains uneven. But the author makes up for any flaws with the most exhilarating action set pieces this side of either version of the movie Point Break, to which the plot makes more than a few passing nods.
In this crime tale, the author shows an imaginative knack for combining old-fashioned thrills with high-tech capers.