During a frigid Boston winter, the two-fisted man who controls the docks finds himself in the middle of a vendetta between an international crime boss and an unstoppable Homeland Security agent.
Having captured international crime boss Vincente Carpio for the second time, FBI Special Agent Kit Steele works hard to convince the prisoner's new “SuperMax” keepers that there’s a high risk of escape. It’s early January, and frigid winter complicates everyone’s plans. As Carpio plots another escape, his older brother, Javier, who shares control of their gang, MS-13, plans a big waterfront operation. Standing in the way is Cormack O’Connell, who controls the docks. He needs to be on his best game but is thrown for a loop by the news that his wild teenage daughter, Diamond, is pregnant. Javier wastes little time in making a move on Cormack; one of his thugs sets fire to Mariner’s Tavern, O’Connell’s informal headquarters, killing loyal bartender Cookie Landrigan. Because it’s also reported that O’Connell has been killed, Kit goes to Mass General to get a look at the body. She finds O’Connell very much alive and hot for revenge. Short-tempered Boston detective Paley investigates the Mariner’s fire and murder while O’Connell distances himself from two of his lieutenants who may be working with Javier. An elaborate cat-and-mouse game plays out among these characters, with fatal results.
Flynn’s debut, adroitly juggling the conventions of crime fiction, unfolds with great pace but little narrative finesse.