An edgy, fast-paced, debut thriller about a day-after-tomorrow police force too good to last.
They’re smart, they’re tough, they’re committed, they carry tranquilizer guns, they make great use of every other high-tech 21st-century anticrime device Holmes can imagine. And because they’ve cut the crime rate drastically, they’ve won the hearts of New York City’s most skeptical citizens. They’re the officers of the Police Enforced Anti-Crime Environment, an elite force if ever there was one. Among the best of the best are Mac Wells and Sam Mullane, who’ve known each other since they were kids and whose bond is closer than that of most brothers. They like their jobs, and by extension their lives, until one day a frightening accident starts it all unraveling. During a stakeout that segues into a shootout, an electropatch from Mac’s tranquilizer hits Sam in the back of the neck. No real harm done, everyone is convinced. It was a tranq gun after all, not a clear to Mac that people in high places were eager for that outcome. But why? he asks Smith and Wesson; Sam will shortly regain consciousness and be good as new. Only it doesn’t happen that way. Mysteriously, Sam dies. Worse, it becomes disconcertingly himself, and soon enough an ambitious, Pulitzer Prize–seeking newspaperman arrives with unwelcome answers involving a conspiracy mounted by a coterie of power brokers who understand how easily an elite police force can be first corrupted and then reshaped into a gestapo. Knowing too much now, Mac finds himself in a position as precarious as it is anomalous, as a cop on the run from cops he not only served with but also still trusts.
Though the details don’t quite hang together as the threads in good thriller should, the story itself certainly moves as swiftly—and as well— as a good thriller should.