P.E.A.C.E.: A Novel of Police Terror

Guy Holmes, Author Simon & Schuster $23 (320p) ISBN 978-0-684-87079-3
Holmes's debut thriller, set in a futuristic New York City, explodes out the narrative gate with a crazy grandma, flashing stun guns and a daring subway-track rescue by an acrobatic policeman. Unfortunately, Holmes fails to deliver on this promising beginning, with dull characters and a colorless setting leaching his tale of drama. Mac Wells, a steely-nerved cop, works for P.E.A.C.E. (Police Enforced Anti-Crime Environment), an agency that operates the Big Apple's newly installed surveillance system. While monitoring the subway one day, the cameras spot an armed suspect. Wells and his partner, boyhood friend Sam Mullane, respond to the call; during the fight, Wells accidentally shoots Sam with his tranquilizer gun. Sam seems fine for a few days, then dies under suspicious circumstances at the hospital. Wracked by guilt, Wells tries to find out why; is P.E.A.C.E. implicated? A secret investigation in a society under constant surveillance by video cameras proves tricky, and as Wells starts getting answers, he quickly becomes a wanted man. The novel's premise is compelling, but it's development feels detached and bloodless. The characters move mechanically and humorlessly, and the plot sorely lacks any element of surprise. Further, Holmes's New York City is devoid of almost all traces of what the future may hold. Most people still get around in yellow cabs, the New York Times is still the paper of record and most of the music seems to be Baby Boom rock. This thriller may have some appeal in urban areas where police brutality is an issue. Agent, Theresa Park. (Dec.)
Reviewed on: 12/04/2000
Release date: 12/01/2000
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Ebook - 320 pages - 978-0-7432-1190-1
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