Just in time for the holidays, readers who like a little extra spice with their treats should try Stefanie Pintoff’s new thriller, City On Edge. It’s the second in the series featuring the tough, talented FBI Special Agent Eve Rossi and her Vidocq team – a mismatched group of ex-cons with perfectly complementary skills. Together, they work to allay a catastrophe that threatens the Thanksgiving Day Parade, the city, and untold numbers of innocents expecting a fun-filled holiday. Just as in the first in this series, Hostage Taker, Edgar Award winner Pintoff reveals an unthinkable threat against the backdrop of Manhattan in an edge-of-your-seat ride that never slows down.
As the streets fill with tourists, marching bands, and the huge inflated stuff of childhood dreams, Police Commissioner Logan Donovan has more on his mind than his teenage daughter’s problems – until she becomes the prime target of a plot threatening the whole city. Then, even the chief of the country’s largest police force has to ask for help. Eve Rossi’s skills as a clinical psychologist turned hostage negotiator had saved an iconic New York institution before. Now Logan has to overcome his pride and political ambitions and bring her team in on the case before people get hurt. Or worse.
To protect the parade and free two kidnapped children before it’s too late, Vidocq’s band of rule-breaking, right-side-of-justice vigilantes dig up buried secrets about everyone around Donovan and his daughter, including her nanny, her driver, and the commissioner, himself. They all have motives, maybe none with higher stakes than Donovan’s. As surprises are revealed, the clock is running down and the threat grows more imminent. Pintoff’s writing is tight, controlled and rocket-fast.
The action and tightwire tension are set against the backdrop of New York on Thanksgiving. You can almost smell the smoke coming off the pretzel and chestnut vendors’ carts. Pintoff, who lives on the Upper West Side, brings Manhattan to life with carefully observed details, locations, sights and sounds as only a native New Yorker can. The psychological insights into characters and motives, the story of political jockeying within the police ranks, and the plotline breaks to insert dossiers on the Vidocq crime fighting team and news bulletins about a city on edge meld seamlessly into a thrilling, suspenseful, nail-biter of a story.
Reading City on Edge, you may find yourself marveling at the intricately constructed plot the way you marvel at a spider’s web. But look out, both can contain deadly surprises. No spoilers here, but Pintoff’s gripping dramatic force will take your breath away while the surprising resolution will leave you as satisfied as a Thanksgiving dinner, but looking forward to the next holiday treat the author cooks up.
City on Edge