FBI agent Marissa Alba leaves the Chicago bureau for the New York office to investigate a serial bomber.
Alba’s latest assignment is dubbed the City Island case, primarily because the bomb exploded at a church rectory on City Island in the Bronx, killing a priest and seriously wounding retired cop Jeremy Ryder. As the bomber continues his random attacks at venues including racetracks, apartments and airplanes, law enforcement has few leads since the bomber consistently uses aliases and leaves a cold trail. Alba employs her superb intellect to unravel the intricate web of clues to solve the crimes, which become more sinister when she and her friends and family become the targets. Alba’s use of Ryder’s extensive files on various high-profile criminals (the Unabomber, BTK Killer, etc.) imbues the novel with a welcome verisimilitude, highlighting the intense cooperative efforts used by law enforcement agents to apprehend a perpetrator. References to the bomber’s motives, especially his anger at the debacles of Waco and Ruby Ridge, serve to complete the psychological profile of a man so consumed by anger that he will make use of any means necessary to exact retribution against the agency he believes responsible for those tragedies. Walker–a former NYPD detective who participated in the Mad Bomber and Son of Sam cases–attempts to add depth to the narrative by including a subplot involving possible impropriety of a certain FBI agent in the current investigation, and in the bombing death of Alba’s husband, Clark, but the conclusion leaves the reader without definitive closure.
A riveting police procedural that falters at the end by failing to resolve the subplot.