“A first-rate police thriller.”—Jonathan Kellerman
Detective Frank Keogh. He’s a man who trades on nerve and luck—and a cop who’s about to become an executioner’s target.
Detective Frank Keogh has a rare gift—for killing. He picked it up in the jungles of Vietnam and perfected it on New York’s mean streets. It’s a talent that comes in handy when you’re a sniper for the NYPD. But over the years his calling has produced a numbness that has his partner worries: Is Frank finding it too easy to pull the trigger now?
Then, on a steamy August night in the South Bronx, a cop connected to Frank is found bizarrely murdered. No one really believes that Keogh is capable of such a brutal act . . . until a second savagely mutilated body is found, and the MO echoes a famous case solved by Frank’s father, a retired detective. Suddenly, Frank Keogh is a fugitive, dodging cops and meeting violence as he takes off on a cross-country chase to the Southwest desert . . . desperately searching for the man who framed him—and the father who could be his last, best hope of staying alive.
“An epic police thriller . . . crackling with narrative energy . . . and a deep-grained savvy about cop ways and mores.”—Kirkus Reviews
Stroud's first novel (after the bestselling Close Pursuit ) is a standout, with an ingenious plot, suspenseful pacing and strong, gritty dialogue. Vietnam vet Frank Keogh is a sniper in the Emergency Services Unit of the NYPD. His job is to kill gunmen who are holding hostages; accuracy and steel nerves are vital. Keogh is expert at his job, perhaps too much so. He seems to find an inordinate joy in disposing of his unsuspecting targets. When a cop with whom he has quarreled and a woman with whom he is having an affair both die violently, under gruesomely similar circumstances, a warrant is issued for Keogh's arrest. He flees, confirming his ``guilt,'' and the story unfolds with surprises at every turn. The author evokes the shadowed world of the NYPD with cynical realism. ``This is the city of the Big Fix--the whole fucking place is on the pad,'' one of Keogh's colleagues says. Stroud's taut descriptions of NYC neighborhoods, his portrayal of an ethnically mixed population, are right on target; his nuanced characterizations of fallible men and the women they love impart a basic credibility to this taut thriller. Film rights to 20th Century Fox.