In this debut thriller, a couple of seemingly unrelated homicides in New York may be linked to a planned assassination.
Lt. Mark Stanton’s latest case is the murder of Wall Street billionaire Roger Decater Thornhill. Newell City cops found Thornhill with a bullet in his head, his body in an alley behind a primo apartment building. Mark and fellow detectives Pete McCurdy and Woody Weiss suspect a botched robbery, but later evidence suggests the killer only wanted it to appear as such. But a second murder in the area with the same M.O. is confounding: that of patent lawyer Barbara Frontiori, who has no discernible tie to Thornhill. Adding to the complications is FBI Special Agent Adam Pierce, who informs the detectives of an assassination plot against U.S. Sen. Aaron Ross. Ross has been responsible for legislation cracking down on anti-government, quasi-military assemblies, much like the dubious groups the feds have connected to Thornhill. Mark, et. al., look into the Einstein World Future Group, a London-based organization that fosters world peace, of which Thornhill was a member. While cops continue searching for the common denominator between the murders, the would-be assassin is already in New York, with an objective—and gun—aimed directly at the senator. Glavin’s short novel sets a brisk pace from the beginning, with Mark quickly initiating the investigation. The narrative is largely dialogue, which is appropriate, as the detectives kick around different theories. Such a devotion to the procedural aspect does forgo nuance (Mark’s, Pete’s, and Woody’s personal lives are relatively unknown), but fans of action surely won’t mind. The story likewise precipitates suspense with well-established scenes, including all the particulars of an event (where an assassination may take place) and the killer standing out in the crowd (for readers, at least) with a conspicuous feature. Glavin really only falters with some inconsistencies, namely the organization’s inexplicably alternating name: the Einstein Future World Group, the Einstein Free World, and the Einstein World Peace Group.
A swift, concise, and entertaining procedural with political overtones.