New York's Hamptons are the summer playground for Wall Street big shots, Hollywood starlets, and all species of glitterati in between. But when a Middle Eastern man rigged with explosives walks into a chic restaurant and blows himself up, all that glamour is shattered. And so is the security and safety of the entire United States. Drawn into this case is Justin Westwood, a local East End Harbor cop who is still haunted by the violent deaths of his wife and daughter years before. After meeting a beautiful woman whose hunger for human contact and comfort matches his own, he believes he is finally winning the battle with his old ghosts. Yet just as he is beginning to grasp hold of the new life he's been craving, he is saddled with this new murder investigation-one far more dangerous than any he's ever tackled.
Soon after the restaurant explosion-the first suicide bombing ever to hit U.S. shores-a small plane crashes in the middle of East End Harbor. It is initially deemed an accident but after the pilot's body disappears, as do all traces of his identification, Justin realizes he's dealing with sabotage. When more terrorist strikes occur, each more devastating than the last, Justin also begins to understand that they all share an elusive, undeniable link-one that will plunge him into a terrifying journey leading to some of the country's most powerful figures and their darkest, most closely held secrets. If he is to survive, Justin must wend his way through a complicated maze of corruption and confront startling truths about big business and politics and, most of all, about himself. For a long time, Justin Westwood has wondered if he could ever truly be frightened again, or if anything could reclaim his soul. Some part of him hoped it was possible. He is about to get his wish...
This well-written "post-9/11" thriller from Andrews (the pseudonym of New York City book editor Peter Gethers) starts off with two seemingly innocuous news items: an EPA announcement that places an Alaskan oil field "permanently off-limits to oil companies" and a Bloomberg report on oil prices. But then the novel explodes with a nightmarish event: a suicide bombing destroys a restaurant in one of Long Island's fashionable beach towns, killing (among others) East End Harbor sheriff Jimmy Leggett. Leggett's widow wants the new sheriff, Justin Westwood (the protagonist of 2003's Aphrodite), to find out who's behind her husband's murder. Soon another incident a small plane crashes just after take-off commands Westwood's immediate attention; the dead pilot has no ID and, bizarrely, leaves no fingerprints. Westwood's relentlessly dogged investigation pits him against some powerful characters indeed Islamic terrorists or our own government? and puts him in real danger: the book's best section vividly describes what it might be like to be interrogated at Guant namo Bay. While some readers may be put off by the broad caricature of the current administration and a conspiracy-laden plot that perhaps only Michael Moore and his acolytes could find credible, all will cheer the appealing Westwood as he pursues the truth. FYI:Gethers is also the author of The Cat Who Went to Paris and other works of nonfiction.