A major, stand-alone thriller from Mystery Writers of America Grandmaster Lawrence Block, author of the acclaimed Matt Scudder books.
A beautiful young woman called Marilyn picks up a stranger in a bar and takes him home to her Manhattan apartment. The next morning her housekeeper discovers Marilyn's body.
Marilyn's life and death have far-reaching effects on others, even people she has never met: a charismatic former police commissioner on the verge of a breakdown; a struggling writer; a folk art dealer plumbing the depths of her own fierce sexuality; a lawyer who prefers murder trials because there's one witness fewer. And in a city reeling from 9/11, an unlikely mass murderer wages a one-man war against everyone.
In this gripping, multi-faceted story, Block not only brings to life in brilliant detail the city of New York, but proves he is one of the most talented, innovative and surprising crime writers in the business.
This is a rare standalone from the Edgar Award winning creator of Matt Scudder, Bernie Rhodenbarr, hit man Keller and others, and takes a number of risks unusual for its author. For a start, it is very deliberately a post 9/11 thriller, in which a man bereaved by the loss of his wife and children in the Twin Towers sets out to wreak what he thinks of as a sacrificial vengeance on the city by becoming a serial terrorist himself. For another, Block, who wrote some pornography early in his career, has created a female character whose kinky sex antics will definitely ruffle some of his mainstream readers. And while an intimate knowledge of New York and its folkways, and of urban character and conversation, has always been one of Block's great strengths, and is on plentiful show again here, his rather improbable action climax seems carelessly tacked on to the meticulous rest of the book. The novel offers a very crowded canvas whose central characters are the sad figure of the terrorist himself; a former police commissioner who eventually sets out to bring him down; a midlist writer who suddenly gets to be a hot property when he's accused of a murder (the publishing scenes will be delightful for insiders); the aforementioned kinky lady, an art dealer when not playing pierced dominatrix; a gay recovering alcoholic who unwittingly leads the villain to the scenes of his crimes; and, of course, the city itself, which, as the title suggests, is a place where everyone is somehow connected to everyone else's business. It's a bold and flashy effort, but its deliberately disturbing elements may somewhat limit its appeal. Major ad/promo; simultaneous audio; 15-city author tour.