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Saturday, July 25, 2015


4.5 stars out of 5

This is the first in the author's series of three (so far) featuring NYPD detective and intelligence officer Jeremy Fisk. I've had the first two for a while now  (next up is The Execution), and I finally found a lull in my stack of to-read books and decided to give the first one a whirl.

For those who may not be familiar with his name, Dick Wolf is the creator of TV's extremely popular and long-running Law and Order franchise (count me as a big fan who was upset at the cancellation of the original show). This is his first novel, and the first thing I'll happily emphasize is it does not read like a screenplay (but it would, IMHO, make a better-than-average motion picture). No, it reads like a book - just as it should - and a pretty darned good one at that.

Fisk is reminiscent of other action heroes - Brad Thor's Scot Harvath comes to mind mostly, I suppose, because I recently finished the most recent installment, Code of Conduct. Even the plot has a somewhat familiar ring to it: the good guys and gals trying to catch the bad ones who may have ties to the late Osama Bin Laden and are out to do dastardly things to the American infidels. Usually, that's a bit of a turn-off for me; I'm well aware of the threat and know it's a hot topic,  but (maybe because of that) I'm less than enthusiastic when it's the theme of books I read for pleasure.

That said, author Wolfe manages to keep the concept fresh (and, thank goodness, doesn't set any scenes in Iran or Afghanistan). All the action, which heats up quickly, happens on U.S. soil and doesn't stop till the end. The whole thing begins as six passengers on an international flight to Newark, N.J, struggle with and subdue a would-be hijacker who apparently had planned to destroy New York City's new Freedom Tower before its official July 4 dedication. But all may not be what it seems; Fisk and officer (and love interest) Krina Gersten agree that the hijacker's confession may be a little too pat; could his actions be a diversion to cover up an even more serious plot? And if so, can they find out the real target in time to prevent a deadly post-9/11 disaster?

I've learned the answers, of course, but I'm not telling; if you want to know what happens, go read the book for yourself. My only "complaint," such as it is, is that the suspicions and conclusions Fisk reaches sometimes seem a bit beyond the human thinking process - but then maybe that's why they pay him the big bucks. But while that prompted a slight deduction in review stars, I'm glad I finally read this one, and for sure I won't keep the next one in the series on the back burner very long.

The Intercept by Dick Wolf (Harper paperback/Kindle, May 2013); 433 pp.

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