John Mackie, Author . Onyx $6.99 (384p) ISBN 978-0-451-41045-0

Retired NYPD Detective Mackie captures the character of Manhattan in his gripping debut novel, the first in a new series featuring Detective Thornton Savage and his homicide task force. When Candace Mayhew's husband travels for business, she joins her Gambino-mob boyfriend for a clandestine meeting. With a tap of a trigger, the lovers lay dead. Later that same morning, Andric Karazov plays with his toy Napoleonic Calvary and thinks about the less-than-perfect job he just completed, and a senator in Queens contemplates his run for the presidency while his wife enjoys another rendezvous with her Russian lesbian lover. As Savage soon realizes, all of these people are linked to Candace Mayhew. It isn't long before he closes in on the assassin and his life is threatened, but after one shootout goes awry and another leaves two men dead, Savage becomes the target of an internal investigation and is stripped of his car, gun and badge. Nevertheless, Savage continues to track the killer and ultimately uncovers a plot involving infidelity, extortion and political intrigue. Mackie stuffs this well-plotted police procedural with street-savvy details, but his meticulous play-by-play can be excessive—he includes the make and model of everything, including Savage's shoes. Still, Mackie writes with authority and presents a street-wise protagonist that readers will welcome. (July 2)

Forecast:Despite Mackie's newcomer status, this book's initial sales should be strong. Billed as "a novel of the NYPD," Manhattan South is certain to tap into the public's current interest in New York City and adoration of law enforcement figures.

Reviewed on: 06/10/2002
Release date: 07/01/2002
Genre: Fiction
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