cover image 15 Seconds

15 Seconds

Andrew Gross. Morrow, $25.99 (336p) ISBN 978-0-06-165597-5

At the start of this chilling stand-alone from Thriller Award–finalist Gross (Eyes Wide Open), an overzealous police officer named Martinez stops cosmetic surgeon Henry Steadman, who’s on his way to a Doctors Without Borders conference, for a minor traffic violation outside Jacksonville, Fla. Soon after placing Henry under arrest, Martinez decides to let him off with a warning, but before Henry can leave the scene, somebody in “an old-model blue sedan” drives by and shoots Martinez in the head. Henry, fearing he’ll be accused of the murder, panics and drives away. The object of an intensive manhunt, Henry becomes increasingly mired in more violence. A chance call puts him in touch with a community outreach officer, who finds Henry’s story credible and senses a conspiracy when other cops refuse to consider evidence of his innocence. Some readers may find Henry’s initial behavior unconvincing, but once he goes on the run, the plot turns thrillingly realistic with a surprising resolution. Agent: Simon Lipskar, Writers House. (July)