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Reviewed by Bruce DeSilva. A lone al-Qaeda terrorist armed with a hard-to-detect obsidian knife tries to hijack a cross-Atlantic airliner and crash it into midtown Manhattan, but five passengers and a flight attendant wrestle him to the floor and subdue him. The Six, as they quickly become known, are celebrated as new American heroes. Lionized by the media, they are promptly folded into New York City's Fourth of July celebration and the upcoming dedication of the new World Trade Center tower. Enter Jeremy Fisk of the NYPD's Intelligence division. The veteran detective worries that the terrorist plot was foiled too easily-that the attempted hijacking could have been a diversion to conceal something much, much bigger. And with both President Barack Obama and former President George W. Bush due in town for the dedication, the stakes couldn't be higher. That is the premise of Dick Wolf's debut novel, The Intercept. Wolf is best known as the creator of NBC-TV's Law & Order, the longest-running drama in television history, but the stunning plot twists, graphic violence, and frantic pace of the novel are more reminiscent of a season of 24. Wolf spins his yarn in a voice that is clear and precise, but not particularly stylish-the kind of writing found in the best newspaper police reporting. Although the novel is billed as the first in a series featuring Jeremy Fisk, the main character is not well-drawn, coming off as a generic good-guy cop. Wolf does a better job with Fisk's partner and secret lover, Krina Gersten, a smart and vivacious woman who resents that she is assigned to babysit the Six while Fisk is on the street hunting terrorists. Several real people including Osama bin Laden, singer-songwriter Paul Simon, New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg, and the city's police commissioner, Ray Kelly, make cameo appearances.But the most vivid characters are the Six, each of whom reacts quite differently to the rush of celebrity. At one end of the spectrum is Colin Frank, a journalist who can't stop scheming to snag book and movie deals. At the other is Alain Nouvian, a cellist who wishes everyone would leave him alone. Wolf's take on the American media's obsession with celebrity, and the way these characters cope with it and with one another, provides some of the book's finest moments. The Intercept doesn't quite measure up to the best of the thriller genre-to the likes of John Sanford and Joseph Finder-but Wolf, an Emmy-winning screenwriter, director, and TV producer, is off to a promising start as a novelist. (Jan.) Bruce DeSilva, winner of the Edgar and Macavity awards, is the author of Cliff Walk and Rogue Island. (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
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Wolf, the master storyteller behind NBC's four Law and Order series, makes a spectacular fiction debut with this gripping thriller. Just three days before the dedication of the new Freedom Tower on July 4, five passengers and a flight attendant on an incoming transatlantic flight prevent Awaan Abdulraheem, a fellow passenger, from hijacking the plane. However, Jeremy Fisk, the leading detective from the NYPD's well-funded Intelligence Division, and his assistant, Kirsten Gersten, soon suspect that this lightweight Yemeni terrorist purposively diverted their attention from another passenger, Saudi art dealer Baada Bin-Hezam, who deplaned and disappeared into Manhattan to orchestrate a new attack. With only 36 hours remaining before the ceremony, Fisk and Gersten conduct a citywide manhunt. -VERDICT A pulsating plotline. Clever characters. Dramatic dialog. Surprising twists. All make for an edge-of-your-seat read that will have thriller fans eagerly awaiting the next series installment. [See Prepub Alert, 7/16/12.]-Jerry P. Miller, Cambridge, MA (c) Copyright 2012. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
From Booklist, Copyright © American Library Association. Used with permission.
Wolf's espionage and police-procedural hybrid combines the brainy suspense and unfiltered social commentary found in the best Law & Order episodes with perfectly calibrated action. Six run-of-the-mill passengers on a Stockholm-to-Newark flight subdue a hijacker, foiling an obvious al-Qaeda plot to destroy the Freedom Tower just before its July 4 dedication. But, after interrogating the hijacker, NYPD Intelligence Division detectives Jeremy Fisk and Krina Gersten are convinced that the hijacker's weak discipline cloaks a greater plot. With Gersten guarding the Six as they run the gauntlet of media appearances, Fisk hunts indicators of a large-scale attack. He soon focuses on another passenger, a Saudi with tribal connections to both Osama bin Laden and the hijacker, tracking him as he methodically wakes sleeper agents scattered throughout the city. A subtle underlayer examines the experiences that can morph people into terrorists and the stereotypes that both aid and inhibit their capture. Readers will be fascinated with the inner workings of the Intel Division, modeled on the CIA, and by the full-sensory description of New York. HIGH-DEMAND BACKSTORY: As the creator of television's Law & Order franchise, Wolf knows his crime, and his first novel is being treated as a major media event. Expect attention to be paid everywhere type is set, film is shot, and bytes are bit.--Tran, Christine Copyright 2010 Booklist