The Interceptor

Richard Herschlag, Author Ballantine Books $6.5 (0p) ISBN 978-0-345-41742-8
Jon Kessler, chief borough engineer for Manhattan (a job Herschlag once held) must delve through political machinations, murder, and sewage when he discovers the environmental hazards posed by a new housing complex on the West Side. With the help of his psychic wife, psycho co-workers, a beautiful new intern, and the honest though troubled cop James Mercado, Jon sallies forth, wielding his vast knowledge of city planning. The author obviously knows and loves the often bizarre, often treacherous labyrinth of tunnels and pipelines webbing the city; a three-page discussion on steam, gas, and electric power is actually thoroughly engrossing. While Herschlag's debut is a fascinating history of the world beneath Manhattan, it is less successful in its original object--to be a thriller. The problem is that the elements and characters are overly familiar and the action occasionally stutters at a patch of awkwardly long dialogue. (Sept.)
Reviewed on: 06/29/1998
Release date: 07/01/1998
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